21.6 x 13.8 cm
This symposium was first delivered as a series of lectures in Rome arranged under the auspices of the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and the British Council. The aim was very much to interpret the drama created by the English Romantic poets from the perspective of the modern theatrical tradition.
The four essays included here investigate the relationship between the Romantics and the theatre of their own time, assess the considerable body of dramatic works composed by Byron and Shelley, and explore the history of plays by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Byron in performance on the British stage.
All argue that, though the Romantic poets were out of sympathy with the theatre of their day, they wrote forms of drama that to a considerable degree anticipate the theatre of the present century.
As Sir Joseph Cheyne states in his Foreword to this volume: ‘No one realised, when the symposium was planned, what a remarkable impact it would have. The accepted idea of the Romantic theatre was still one of lyric drama, difficult to produce and perform. To hear it described suddenly as modern, psychological drama, as the theatre of the mind, the “theatre of violence”, was so striking that the ripples are still washing the shore’.
This symposium comprises ‘The Romantic Poet and the Stage: A Short, Sad History’ (Professor Timothy Webb), ‘The Dramas of Byron’ (Professor Giorgio Melchiori), ‘The Shelleyan Drama’ (Professor Stuart Curran), ‘Romantic Drama in Performance’ (Dr. Richard Allen Cave), and a select bibliography on the Romantic Drama (Christina Gee and Judith Knight).
Richard Allen Cave, Emeritus Professor of Drama and Theatre Arts at Royal Holloway in the University of London, has published extensively in the fields of renaissance drama (Jonson, Webster, Brome), modern English and Irish theatre (Wilde, Yeats, Pinter, Beckett, Friel, Mc Guinness), dance (Ninette de Valois, Robert Helpmann), stage design (Charles Ricketts, Robert Gregory) and direction (Terence Gray). Most recently, he devised and was General Editor of an AHRC-funded project to create an online edition of The Collected Plays of Richard Brome (2010), and published the monograph, Collaborations: Ninette de Valois and William Butler Yeats (2011). The Collected Brome is soon to be published in a more traditional book-format by Oxford University Press (2020). He has also edited the plays of Wilde, Yeats and T.C. Murray; and the manuscript versions of Yeats’s The King of the Great Clock Tower and A Full Moon in March. Professor Cave is a trained Feldenkrais practitioner who works on vocal techniques with professional actors and on extending movement skills with performers in physical theatre.