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The Theatres of WarPerformance, Politics, and Society 1793-1815$
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Gillian Russell

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198122630

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122630.001.0001

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Littoral Rites

Littoral Rites

Military Theatre and Empire

(p.158) 7 Littoral Rites
The Theatres of War


Oxford University Press

Although Tate Wilkinson was found to be one of the most respected and successful people in provincial theatre, his thoughts regarding the performance of The Fair Penitent demonstrate that he had to experience struggles so that his personal and professional respectability became recognized. The façade of the dominant theatrical culture in Britain, exhibited through the various patent houses in the provinces and in London, hides a different kind of rural theatre which involves staging performances in fairground booths, in barns, and in the open-air. In 1788, a change in the law classified all actors, regardless of their status, as craftsmen, yet acting was still associated with criminality and immorality. In this chapter, the author considers looking into the American War of Independence, the British administration of the Cape of Good Hope, and the War of 1812 to analyse the significance of amateur theatricals.

Keywords:   amateur theatricals, Tate Wilkinson, provincial theatre, craftsmen, rural theatre, Good Hope, 1812 war, War of Independence

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