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Productions from 1914 to 1945 (Modern Performances: 1837-1998)
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Monday, 28 March 2005 07:27


alt  Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon (1928). Picture courtesy of the Yorck Project under Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License (Wikipedia).


The post-World War I¬† years were marked by productions dominated by stars often ultimately achieving international status via cinematic roles: Judith Anderson, Peggy Ashcroft, John Barrymore, Edith Evans, John Gielgud, Leslie Howard, Laurence Olivier, Tyrone Power, Ralph Richardson, etc. This pattern was offset by competent regional repertory theatres, such as the the Maddermarket in Norwich, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon, not to mention the Old Vic in London. In America experimental productions evolved such as those fostered by the New Deal’s Federal Theatre Project of which Orson Welles’ Lafayette Theatre production of a “negro version” of Macbeth is a conspicuous example. Theatre-orientated scholarship and criticism such as that of Granville-Barker became influential and helped to create a more flexible style than that inherited from the Victorians. See Gallery 5 for relevant images.


 Agate, James. Brief Chronicles: A Survey of the Plays of Shakespeare and the Elizabethans in Actual Performance. London; Jonathan Cape, 1943.


Barker, Clive, and Maggie B. Gale, eds., British Theatre between the Wars, 1918-1939, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Beaumont, Sally, The Royal Shakespeare Company: a History of Ten Decades, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.

Bowmer , Angus L., Acting and Directing on the Ashland Elizabethan Stage, Ashland , : Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 1979.

Bowmer , Angus L., As I remember, Adam: An Autobiography of a Festival, Asland , : Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 1975.

 Bowmer , Angus L., The Ashland Elizabethan Stage, Ashland : Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 1978.  top



Carlson, Marvin, The Shakespeare Productions of Max Reinhardt, Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press: 2004 .

Cochrane, Claire. Shakespeare and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre 1913-1929. London: Society for Theatre Research, 1993.

Crosse, Gordon, Shakespeare Playgoing, 1890-1952, London, 1953. top

Darlington, W. A., Six Thousand and One Night: Forty Years a Dramatic Critic, London, 1960.

Day, M. C., and J. C. Trewin, The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, London, 1932. top

Ellis, Ruth, Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Winchester, 1948.  top


Fagg, Edwin, The Old Vic, London, 1936.

Farjeon, Herbert. The Shakespeare Scene: Dramatic Criticism. London: Hutchinson, no date.

Findlater, Richard, Michael Redgrave, Actor, London, 1956.

Fordham, Hallam, John Geilgud, London, 1952.top


Gielgud, John with John Miller, Shakespeare: Hit or Miss?, London: Sidgwich & Jackson, 1991. [Also see Gielgud references in next section]

Gielgud, John, ed. Harwood Ronald, The Ages of Gielgud: An Actor at Eighty. New York:Limelight, 1984. [Also see Gielgud references in next section]

Griffith, Hubert, "Hamlet in Modern Dress," in Ward, A. C., ed. Specimens of English Dramatic Criticism XVII-XX Centuries, London: Oxford University Press, 1945, 307-11.

Guthrie, Tyrone. A Life in the Theatre. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1961.

Guthrie, Tyrone,  & Robertson Davies, Renown at Stratford: a Record of the Shakespeare Festival in Canada, Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1953. top


Harwood, Ronald. Sir Donald Wolfit C.B.E.: His Life and Work in the
Unfashionable Theatre
. London: Seeker and Warburg, 1971.

Hildy, Franklin J., Shakespeare at the Maddermarket: Nugent Monck and the Norwich Players, Ann Arbor, UMI  Research Press, 1986.

Hildy, Franklin J.,"Playing Places for Shakespeare: the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich," Shakespeare Survey, 47 (1994) 81-90.

Hobson, Harold, Ralph Richardson, London; Rockcliff, 1958. 

Howard, Tony, "Blood on the bright young things: Shakespeare in the 1930s," in British Theatre between the Wars 1918-1939, ed. Clive Barker and Maggie B. Gale, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001: pp. 1361 top

Irving, Laurence, The Successors [to Henry Irving], London, 1951top

Jaggard, Gerald, Stratford Mosaic, London, 1960. top


Kennedy, Dennis, Granville Barker and the Dream of Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. 

Kennedy, Dennis, Looking at Shakespeare: a Visual History of Twentieth- Century Performance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

Keown, Eric, Peggy Ashcroft, London: Rocliff, 1955.

Knight, G. Wilson. Principles of Shakespeare Production. London: Faber and Faber, 1936. Repr.: Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1949. Revised as Shakespearean Production: with Especial Reference to the Tragedies. London; Faber and Faber, 1964.

Komisarjevsky, Theodore, Myself and the Theatre, London, 1929.top


Leeper, Janet, Edward Gordon Craig, London, 1948.top


Miles, Bernard, & Josephine Wilson, "Three Festivals at the Mermaid Theatre," Shakespeare Quarterly 5.3 (Summer, 1954) 307-10.

Miller, John. Ralph Richardson: The Authorized Biography. London:
Sidgwick and Jackson, 1990. top


O'Connor, Garry,  Ralph Richardson: An Actor's Life, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1982.

O'Connor, Marion, "Reconstructive Shakespeare: Reproduccing Elizabethan and Jacobean Stages." in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage, ed. Stanley Wells & Sarah Stanton, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp.76-97.

Olivier, Laurence, On Acting, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986. top


Payne, Ben Ide, A Life in a Wooden O, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.

Purdom, C. B. Granville-Barker, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1955.


 Redgrave, Michael, In My Mind's Eye: An Actor's Autobiography, New York: Viking Press, 1983  top


Smallwood, Robert, "Twentieth-century performance: the Stratford and London companies," in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage, ed. Stanley Wells & Sarah Stanton, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 98-117. 

Speight, Robert, William Poel and the Elizabethan Revival, London: Barrie & Rockliff, 1953.

Sprague, Arthur Colby, and J. C. Trewin. Shakespeare's Plays Today: Some Conventions of the Stage. Columbia: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1970.

Sprague, Arthur Colby, Shakespeare Players and Performances, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1953.
Styan John L. The Shakespeare Revolution: Criticism and Perform-
ance in the Twentieth Century
. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1977.

Symington, Rodney, The Nazi Appropriation of Shakespeare: Cultural Politics in the Third Reich, Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2005.top

Thorndyke, Russell, Sybil Thorndike, London, 1939.

Tollini, Frederick, The Shakespeare Productions of Max Reinhardt, Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2005.

Trewin, John Courtney. Benson and the Bensonians. London: Bames and Rockliff, 1960.

Trewin, John Courtney, Going to Shakespeare, London: George Alien and Unwin, 1978.

Trewin, J. C., Shakespeare on the English Stage: 1900-1964, London & New York, 1964. 

Trewin, John Courtney, Sybil Thorndike, London: Theatre World, 1955.

Trewin, M.C., The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 1913-1963, London: Barrie and rockcliff, 1963.

Tynan, Kenneth, He Who Plays the King, London, 1950.top 


Vallillo, Stephen M., "The Shakespeare Productions of the Federal Theatre Project." Theatre History Studies 3 (1983): 28-53. top


Williams, E. Harcourt, Old Vic Saga, London, 1949.

Williamson, Audrey, Contemporary Theatre, 1935-56, London, 1956.    

Wolfit, Donald, First Interval, London, 1954.

Woolf, Virginia, "Twelfth Night at the Old Vic," in Ward, A. C., ed. Specimens of English Dramatic Criticism XVII-XX Centuries, London: Oxford University Press, 1945, 321-5.top 



A Midsummer Night's Dream, 1935:Bottom: James Cagney; Quince: Frank Mchugh; Flute: Joe E. Brown; Starveling: J.Patrick; Snout: Hugh Herbert; Snug, Dewey Robinson; Hans Fred Konekamp,Photographer; Max Reinhardt,Producer; William Dieterle, Director.Warner Brothers. http://www.clevelandmemory.org/copyright/


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