This critical introduction to British musical theatre since 1950 is the first book to discuss its post-war developments from the perspective of British - as opposed to American - popular culture. The genre is situated within the historical context of post-war British society in order to explore the range of forms through which significant sociocultural moments are represented.
Introductory chapters analyse the way British musicals have responded to social change, the forms of popular theatre and music from which they have developed and their originality in elaborating new narrative strategies since the seventies. A key feature of the book is its close readings of twelve key works, from Salad Days (1954) and Oliver (1960) to global smash hits such as Les Miserables (1985) and The Phantom of the Opera (1986) and beyond, including the latest critical and box-office success Matilda (2011). Also analysed are British favourites (Blood Brothers, 1983), cult shows (The Rocky Horror Show, 1975) and musicals with a pre-existing fan-base, such as Mamma Mia (1999).
About the Author
Robert Gordon is Professor of Theatre and Performance at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK and Director of the Pinter Research Centre in Performance and Creative Writing. He has published books on Stoppard and Harold Pinter, on modern acting theories and edited The Oxford Handbook of Sondheim Studies; he is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the British Musical. Olaf Jubin is Reader in Media Studies and Musical Theatre at Regent's University London, UK, and a Visiting Lecturer on the M.A. in Musical Theatre at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. He has written and co-edited several books on musical theatre and the mass media and is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the British Musical.Millie Taylor is Professor of Musical Theatre at the University of Winchester, UK. She worked as a freelance musical director and, for almost twenty years, toured Britain and Europe with a variety of musicals including West Side Story, Rocky Horror Show, Little Shop of Horrors and Sweeney Todd. Her publications include Singing for Musicals: A Practical Guide (2008), Musical Theatre, Realism and Entertainment (2012), and with Dominic Symonds the edited collection Gestures of Music Theatre: The Performativity of Song and Dance (2014).