- ISBN 978 0 7206 1298 1
- Published October 2007
Laughter and Grandeur:
Stage By Stage Volume IV
The fourth volume of the encyclopaedic Stage by Stage series fills a gap in the history of theatre. Until now there has never been a wide-ranging and comprehensive study of theatre in the Age of Baroque, the period from the early seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth. Here is a broad yet closely studied account of what happened behind the scenes and on stage above the sputtering, smoky footlights that were often merely rows of candles. Philip Freund graphically evokes the leading playwrights and performers, composers and singers, choreographers and dancers, some of whom were deemed immortal and others who were once famous and subsequently forgotten but who are here restored to their rightful place in the pantheon of international theatre. Wide in scope, it is packed with tales of a host of kings and players, tormented dramatists and joyful singers and dancers. It is a cast that includes Louis IV, Charles II, Moliére, Racine, Voltaire, Beaumarchais, Davenant, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Gay, Purcell, Handel and many more, and its stages include St Petersburg, Venice, Madrid, Copenhagen, Paris and London. The book also includes detailed descriptions of more recent stagings of the plays, including innovative and experimental productions of the last century. This scholarly yet accessible book, written in clear, compelling prose, brings to life the many worlds of the Baroque period.
'Philip Freund's series has enormous sweep and passion . . . Freund's series is a major contribution to the study of drama and the theater world, and Volume 4 is eagerly anticipated.' - Library Journal
Also in the Stage by Stage Series:
PHILIP FREUND is a novelist, poet, documentary film writer and playwright as well as essayist, literary critic and anthropologist. He is a Professor Emeritus of Fordham University, New York, and has taught and lectured on drama and related subjects at other universities.