How Did World War I I Affect The Theatre


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How Did World War I I Affect The Theatre

  1. 1. How did World War II affect the Theatre and Performance?
  2. 2. Consequences of War <ul><li>Many theatres, especially throughout London had to close as a result of the War, because of air raids, heavy bombings and blackouts. </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of paint and materials were rationed during the war and for some years after it, making it difficult to put on a production. </li></ul>
  3. 3. ENSA <ul><li>Entertainments National Service Association. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s main purpose was to provide entertainment for HM forces and for munitions workers. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Creator-Basil Dean </li></ul><ul><li>First show was </li></ul><ul><li>performed on 10 th </li></ul><ul><li>December 1939 in </li></ul><ul><li>Camberley </li></ul><ul><li>First overseas show took place on 15 th November 1939 in Douia, France </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Some people involved </li></ul><ul><li>in ENSA were – </li></ul><ul><li>Frances Day, Joyce </li></ul><ul><li>Grenfell, Arthur </li></ul><ul><li>Riscoe and Beatrice </li></ul><ul><li>Lillie. </li></ul><ul><li>ENSA pulled down </li></ul><ul><li>the curtain in July </li></ul><ul><li>1946 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Politics and Theatre – ‘Theatre union’ <ul><li>Manifesto – The theatre needed to face up to the problems and danger of war and fascism. </li></ul><ul><li>The democratic people were forced into action, they found the best way voice their views on war, peace and progress was through drama. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Theatre union’ was Manchesters contribution to the cultural forces of democracy, they set themselves the task of establishing a theatre unit, complete with producers, actors, artists and writers. </li></ul><ul><li>By doing this they were ensuring the future of theatre. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Politics and the Theatre <ul><li>Ewan MacColl / Jimmie Miller was a play writer and political activist who led ‘Theater of Action’, which later became ‘Theatre Workshop’, with the help of Joan Littlewood. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Theatre of Action’ promoted his own national version of the ‘German agitprop troupes’ originally from the russian revolution, he called it ‘Red megaphones’. </li></ul><ul><li>They turned up on street corners, with </li></ul><ul><li>megaphones, singing. </li></ul><ul><li>There job was to diseminate news </li></ul><ul><li>of resistance to Hitler. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Joan Littlewood <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Joan was one of the most influencial theatre directors at this time. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>She founded ‘theatre workshop’, along with Jimmie Miller. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Her ‘theatre workshop’ entertained orphaned children freed from Nazi camps. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Her group proposed an anti-atom-bomb play – ‘Uranium 235’. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Theatre workshop was </li></ul><ul><li>Europe’s most outstanding </li></ul><ul><li>group theatre, with a </li></ul><ul><li>sensational success of the </li></ul><ul><li>‘ 51 Edinburgh Festival. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Uranium 235’ was a modern </li></ul><ul><li>morality play for the atomic </li></ul><ul><li>era. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The most exciting Theatre </li></ul><ul><li>group I have ever seen” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Post War and the ‘Old Vic’ <ul><li>● The ‘Old Vic’ was the only theatre that stayed open at the height of the german blitz. </li></ul><ul><li> ● Donald Wolfit tried to keep the Theatre alive by putting on afternoon showings, but most of the English theatre life was demolished. </li></ul><ul><li> ● After the war the ‘Old Vic’ along with the shakespeare festival company became the most respected theatrical groups in England. </li></ul>● The ‘Old Vic’ returned to London in 1944 after spending many years in the provinces.
  11. 11. <ul><li>● The management of the ‘Old Vic’ was passed onto Lawrence Olivier, Ralph Richardson and John Burell. </li></ul><ul><li>● After 1948 Olivier and Richardson spent more time on other commitments therefore the ‘Old Vic’ started to decline and the management was passed onto Hugh Hunt who had spent many years as a director there. </li></ul><ul><li>As the ‘Old Vic’ declined, the </li></ul><ul><li>Stratford festival company gained </li></ul><ul><li>more power and respect in the </li></ul><ul><li>theatre world and reviews from </li></ul><ul><li>Stratford were starting to </li></ul><ul><li>overpower those of the ‘Old Vic’. </li></ul><ul><li>● As more festivals such as Edinburgh, </li></ul><ul><li>Chichester, Canterbury and </li></ul><ul><li>Aldeburgh started to gain power, </li></ul><ul><li>British Theatre by 1960 had become </li></ul><ul><li>one of the best in the world. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Conclusion <ul><li>What does theatre do for history? </li></ul><ul><li>It can capture moments of history in performance. </li></ul><ul><li>It represents and reflects the feelings and emotions of the performers and the audience at the certain times. </li></ul><ul><li>And what does history do for theatre? </li></ul><ul><li>History influences the theatre through politics and events that have happened. </li></ul><ul><li>The theatre and play-wrights are inspired by historic events and different periods through time. </li></ul><ul><li>The circumstances at the time will effect the way a production is run. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Sources <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Digging up the stories, By James Thompson </li></ul><ul><li>Joan’s book, By Joan Littlewood </li></ul><ul><li>Agit-prop to the Theatre Workshop, By Howard Goorney and Ewan MacColl </li></ul><ul><li>History of the Theatre, By Oscar G. Brockett </li></ul>