Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A History of Pantomime

R.J. Broadbent - A History of Pantomime (1901)

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Open Library main page

I've only read lightly about theatrical and acting history (aside from Elizabethan) but find it interesting because of how spotty and inadequate the records are, to say nothing of the changing terms that make comparisons tricky.  What would we think of David Garrick if we could see him today?  How exactly were classical Greek performances staged?  In any case this book traces pantomime from ancient origins (or at least Greek and Indian origins) up through Romans, mystery plays, the Italians, fairy tale versions and even its appearances in America.

I can find almost nothing about the author except he wrote a couple of other books including Annals of the Liverpool Stage.  This book is referenced in an odd mix of other works such as ones on Lewis Theobald, Busby Berkeley and religious performances.