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British Musical Theatre since 1950

Robert Gordon , Olaf Jubin and Millie Taylor

DOI: 10.5040/9781472584403

ISBN: 9781472584366

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This critical introduction to British musical theatre since 1950 is the first book to discuss its post-war developments from the perspective of British – as opposed to American – popular culture. The genre is situated within the historical context of post-war British society in order to explore the range of forms through which significant sociocultural moments are represented.

Introductory chapters analyse the way British musicals have responded to social change, the forms of popular theatre and music from which they have developed and their originality in elaborating new narrative strategies since the seventies. A key feature of the book is its close readings of twelve key works, from Salad Days (1954) and Oliver! (1960) to global smash hits such as Les Misérables (1985), The Phantom of the Opera (1986) and beyond, including the latest critical and box-office success Matilda (2011). Also analysed are British favourites (Blood Brothers, 1983), cult shows (The Rocky Horror Show, 1975) and musicals with a pre-existing fan-base, such as Mamma Mia! (1999).

'Pleasingly, although each of the authors is an academic, they do not wear their learning to[o] heavily and this volume could easily please a general reader as well as students ... All in, this is a readable overview of its subject and a welcome addition to the bookshelves of anybody with an interest in British musicals.' British Theatre Guide

'This academic yet highly accessible text ... [offers] a detailed and relevant account of the industry from this side of the pond ... A demanding yet rewarding read ... There's much to enjoy for both the academic and the general theatre historian.' London Theatre