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Theatre in London has celebrated a rich and influential history, and in 1976 the first volume of J. P. Wearing’s reference series provided researchers with an indispensable resource of these productions. In the decades since the original calendars were produced, several research aids have become available, notably various reference works and the digitization of important newspapers and relevant periodicals.
The second edition of The London Stage 1890–1899: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel provides a chronological calendar of London shows from the first of January, 1890, through the 31st of December, 1899. The volume chronicles more than 3,000 productions at 31 major central London theatres during this period. For each entry the following information is provided:
- Opening and Closing Dates
- Number of Performances
Other details include genre of the production, number of acts, and a list of reviews. A comment section includes other interesting information, such as plot description, first-night reception by the audience, noteworthy performances, staging elements, and details of performances in New York either prior to or after the London production.
Among the plays staged in London during this decade were Alice in Wonderland, Arms and the Man, Cyrano de Bergerac, An Ideal Husband, The Prisoner of Zenda, and The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, as well as numerous musical comedies (British and American), foreign works, operas, and revivals of English classics.
A definitive resource, this edition revises, corrects, and expands the original calendar. In addition, approximately 20 percent of the material—in particular, information of adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comment information—is new. Arranged chronologically, the shows are fully indexed by title, genre, and theatre. A general index includes numerous subject entries on such topics as acting, audiences, censorship, costumes, managers, performers, prompters, staging, and ticket prices. The London Stage 1890–1899 will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.