‘May well turn out to be the most important study of all facets of theatre to be published in this century’ — Stage
Volume IV in the acclaimed Stage by Stage series which chronicles world theatre from primitive rites and enactments of myths to contemporary drama.Laughter and Grandeur, the last 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
PHILIP FREUND (1909–2008) was a writer and theatre historian, best known for the 9,000 page series on the history of theatre entitled Stage By Stage, regarded as among the most important and original studies of theatre history ever written. A true polymath who could discourse, lecture and write knowledgeably on a wealth of subjects, Freund would write novels, short stories, essays, plays, works of literary criticism and, perhaps most remarkably, with Myths of Creation (1963), a work of anthropology that ranks alongside the classics in its field. He died in 2008 at the age of 98.
|Date Published||1st November 2006|