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Inconvenient Black History of British Musical Theatre

1900 - 1950

«This necessary, powerfully anti-racist book provides space and a platform for those artists who might otherwise have been forgotten. It serves as a salient reminder of the wealth of Black performers who should not be consigned to history.»

The Times Literary Supplement

A radically urgent intervention, An Inconvenient Black History of British Musical Theatre: 1900 - 1950 uncovers the hidden Black history of this most influential of artforms. Drawing on lost archive material and digitised newspapers from the turn of the century onwards, this exciting story has been re-traced and restored to its rightful place. Les mer

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A radically urgent intervention, An Inconvenient Black History of British Musical Theatre: 1900 - 1950 uncovers the hidden Black history of this most influential of artforms. Drawing on lost archive material and digitised newspapers from the turn of the century onwards, this exciting story has been re-traced and restored to its rightful place. A vital and significant part of British cultural history between 1900 and 1950, Black performance practice was fundamental to resisting and challenging racism in the UK.

Join Mayes (a Broadway- and Toronto-based Music Director) and Whitfield (a musical theatre historian and researcher) as they take readers on a journey through a historically-inconvenient and brilliant reality that has long been overlooked. Get to know the Black theatre community in London’s Roaring 20s, and hear about the secret Florence Mills memorial concert they held in 1928. Acquaint yourself with Buddy Bradley, Black tap and ballet choreographer, who reshaped dance in British musicals - often to be found at Noël Coward’s apartment for late-night rehearsals, such was Bradley’s importance. Meet Jack Johnson, the first African American Heavyweight Boxing Champion, who toured Britain’s theatres during World War 1 and brought the sounds of Chicago to places like war-weary Dundee. Discover the most prolific Black theatre practitioner you’ve never heard of, William Garland, who worked for 40 years across multiple continents and championed Black British performers. Marvel at performers like cabaret star Mabel Mercer, born in Stafford in 1900, who sang and conducted theatre orchestras across the UK, as well as Black Birmingham comedian Eddie Emerson, who was Garland’s partner for decades.

Many of their names and works have never been included in histories of the British musical - until now.

Detaljer

Forlag
Methuen Drama
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
304
ISBN
9781350119635
Utgivelsesår
2021
Format
23 x 16 cm

Om forfatteren

Sean Mayes is a New York music director active both in New York City and Toronto, with a background in London and the UK. He is an active member of the Broadway music community as a vocal coach, accompanist, orchestrator-arranger and pit musician. He is a Part-Time Professor in Musical Theatre at Sheridan College, Canada, and has published on the history of music directing and the role of Black music directors on Broadway.

Sarah K. Whitfield is a Senior Lecturer in Musical Theatre at the University of Wolverhampton. Her research focuses on exploring the historiography of musical theatre, and recovering the work that women and minoritised groups have done through archival research and digital humanities. She has published widely on collaborative practice in musical theatre, film musicals, and in queer fan studies. Her most recent book is the edited collection Reframing the Musical: Race, Culture and Identity (2019).

Anmeldelser

«This necessary, powerfully anti-racist book provides space and a platform for those artists who might otherwise have been forgotten. It serves as a salient reminder of the wealth of Black performers who should not be consigned to history.»

The Times Literary Supplement

«By using in-depth research and anecdotes it breathes life into an important and forgotten period of Black British history … Presents timely insight for future scholars, graduate students, and theatre buffs.»

Word Matters (STSD)

«The book opens up many possibilities for future scholars, graduate students, and theatre buffs to engage in recovery work that paints a more accurate portrait of UK theatre and forces us to reconsider the role of white supremacy that has plagued theatre at large … Mayes and Whitfield’s book offers a roadmap, a corrective to reframing musical theatre histories in a way that might make us feel like we aren’t experts. I, for one, wasn’t aware of these histories. They were new to me. I didn’t have the knowledge base I typically have when reading and engaging with musical theatre history. But this is precisely the beauty of the book—it offers a learning tool.»

The Theatre Times

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