Cultural identity in British musical theatre, 1890-1939: knowing one's place

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book examines the performance of ‘Britishness’ on the musical stage. Covering a tumultuous period in British history, it offers a fresh look at the vitality and centrality of the musical stage, as a global phenomenon in late-Victorian popular culture and beyond. Through a re-examination of over fifty archival play-scripts, the book comprises seven interconnected stories told in two parts. Part One focuses on domestic and personal identities of ‘Britishness’, and how implicit anxieties and contradictions of nationhood, class and gender were staged as part of the popular cultural condition. Broadening in scope, Part Two offers a revisionary reading of Empire and Otherness on the musical stage, and concludes with a consideration of the Great War and the interwar period, as musical theatre performed a nostalgia for a particular kind of ‘Britishness’, reflecting the anxieties of a nation in decline.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages245
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-59806-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in British Musical Theatre
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


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