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‘The Placid English Style’: Ideology and Performance

  • Michael Goron
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in British Musical Theatre book series (PSBMT)

Abstract

In this innovative study of embodied performance, Goron examines acting and singing styles in the original performances of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas to discover whether they derived from and reflected the cultural values of the ‘respectable’ Victorian middle classes. The ‘restrained’ Savoy style is contrasted with that of the ‘low’ comedy and sexual ‘knowingness’ of contemporary burlesque to evaluate the significance of methods used at the Savoy.

Goron goes on to explore the role of W.S. Gilbert as ‘auteur’ in the creation of a theatrical brand which epitomised bourgeois cultural and material values. Stringent policies concerning the interpolation of non-scripted, semi-improvisatory ‘gags’ by performers are considered as challenges to the fundamental ideological, hierarchical and commercial requirements of the D’Oyly Carte organisation, and by implication to Victorian notions of professionalism and respectability.

Keywords

Stage Manager Daily News Musical Theatre Musical Stage High Spirit 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Goron
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Southampton SolentSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.University of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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