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Thomas E. Postlewait
Ohio State University (Columbus, OH 43210-1132)
George Edwardes and the Transformation of London Theatre, 1878-1916

This study in theatre history focuses on the contributions of George Edwardes, the creator of the British musical comedy and the leading entrepreneur in London entertainment for three decades (1880s through 1900s). He created over 60 productions, 30 of which ran for at least 300 performances. Many toured the world. Edwardes developed an entertainment empire in the metropolis, and thus can serve as a touchstone for investigating not only the development of popular theatre and its audiences but also the growth of a theatre industry in modern London. More than anyone else, Edwardes contributed to major transformation of London commercial theatre in the late Victorian and Edwardian eras. My aim is to take the measure of his multifaceted career, and in the process to provide a microhistory of the artistic, economic, social, and political aspects of London theatre and its audiences in the decades before World War I.

Project fields:
Theater History and Criticism

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2004 – 12/31/2004