Shakespeare productions in England 1909-1932 and the visual arts: the work of Ricketts, Wilkinson, Lovat Fraser and Shelving

Thomas, Lindsey Catherine (2010). Shakespeare productions in England 1909-1932 and the visual arts: the work of Ricketts, Wilkinson, Lovat Fraser and Shelving. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis considers the contribution made to seminal productions of Shakespeare by the stage designers Charles Ricketts, Norman Wilkinson, Claud Lovat Fraser and Paul Shelving between the years 1909-1932. It examines how each responded to the visual arts as a means of developing an individual and distinctive style in sympathy with elements of the New Stagecraft and how this in turn influenced their interpretation of scenic designs and costumes. This study foregrounds archival research as a means of understanding the ideas which informed these designers and the visual impact of their work. The Introduction discusses the extent to which the Shakespearean work of these four designers has already been given consideration. Each designer is then assessed in a separate chapter. These outline the cultural background from which they drew their inspiration and offer an analysis of their work for Shakespeare productions within this context. The productions are considered in chronological order. This facilitates an evaluation of the development of Ricketts, Wilkinson, Shelving and Lovat Fraser as stage designers and gives a perspective on their achievements and failures. The Conclusion identifies the significance of the role of the stage designer to Shakespearean productions by 1932. It comments on the legacy of these designers and the continuing importance of the visual arts in relation to the interpretation of Shakespeare on the stage.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, The Shakespeare Institute
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, The Society For Theatre Research
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater


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