This page contains links to articles about various aspects of theatre relevant to the time period to which this website is devoted. Some are based upon articles found in period publications* which I have reproduced and discussed, some are just my own ramblings. I hope you will find them interesting and informative.
* - Although I am based in the UK and concerned mainly with the English theatre scene of the Edwardian era, many of the period publications from which these articles have been obtained are US newspapers of that time. This is because the US newspapers of that period were somewhat ahead of their UK counterparts in having regular magazine sections that carried articles of broader interest and so are generally a richer source of information on matters theatrical. And, since the stage stars of that era were largely interchangeable between the US and the UK, most of these articles are equally applicable to the theatre scene on either side of the Atlantic.
General Theatrical Issues
A selection of articles of general theatrical interest.
A brief history of dramatic censorship up to the Edwardian era.
Reproducing articles from period publications on the subject of theatre censorship.
Reproducing a period article on 'Playgoers Morals' and discussing the issues involved.
The development of copyright legistation up to the Edwardian era.
A discussion of the Stage Reform movement.
A short treatise on the economics of the Edwardian theatre.
Discussing fire safety issues in Edwardian theatres, and describing some of the worst theatre disasters.
The story of the Exeter Theatre fire, Britain's worst theatre disaster.
Reproducing a treatise, written by an architect, on building safer theatres.
Discussing the work of the theatrical photographer.
Discussing the meaning of dramatic tragedy and reproducing some period articles relating to the subject.
Discussing the effects an audience has upon the theatre.
Discussing the disturbances that often occured on the first nights of new productions.
Reproducing a period article on Theatrical Costume and a brief history of its development.
The development and importance of dramatic criticism in the Edwardian era.
Chapter from "The Ethics of Theatrical Criticism" By William Archer (T. Fisher Unwin, London 1886)
Discussing the system of theatrical benefit performances.
Discussing the system of special trains for theatrical companies.
Exploring the vexed question of the advisability for girls of pursuing a career on the stage.
The story of a remarkable court case that sought to answer this question.
Discussing stage stars salaries and reproducing a collection of period articles.
Reproducing a collection of articles discussing the importance of stage dresses.
Explaining a typical theatrical contract with examples from genuine legal cases.
The origins of the Gibson Girls and answering the question "was a Gibson Girl an actress".
A selection of articles concerning the development of the theatre up to the Edwardian era.
A brief discussion of the origins of the most popular form of theatrical entertainment.
A brief discussion of the history of the British tradition of the christmas pantomime.
The story of how women were at first barred from the stage but in time came to be essential to it.
Tracing the performance history of Shakespeare's greatest play.
Discussing the passing of a theatrical institution - the pit.
A selection of articles of relating to the lifestyle of the Edwardian actress.
Reproducing a chapter from a book by Canadian actress Clara Morris.
Reproduction of an article discussing the actress as homemaker.
Reproducing a period article illustrating actresses involvement in charitable causes.
A short treatise on the actress' influence on Edwardian fashions.
A short dissertation on actresses involvement in the Womens Suffrage movement.
A chapter from "EXITS AND ENTRANCES" by Eva Moore.
A few stories of what men were prepared to do for the love of an actress, including suicide and murder!
Reproducing and discussing two period articles examining the special talents of the mature actress.
Reflecting on the remarkable number of actresses who married British Peers in the Edwardian era.
Reproducing two period articles discussing the successes of actresses marriages to peers.
May Yohe and Lord Hope - a marriage between actress and peer that was an unqualified failure.
How many leading actresses put their careers aside to devote themselves to doing good works during time of war.
How young noblemen who had married actresses distinguished themselves in battle during the great war.
Reproducing a period article discussing the off-stage talents of some theatrical performers.
Discussing drug use among actresses with reference to a few specific examples.
Reproducing a period account of the Billie Carleton case.
Reproducing an article reporting on the broken love lives of four of the great stage beauties of the day.
Discussing the life of an actress as understudy and reproducing a period article reporting on the life of an understudy.
Discussing the life of a chorus girl in the Edwardian theatre and reproducing a period article reporting on the life of an understudy.
The work of the Rehearsal Club - a daytime club for young women in the theatrical profession.
Collected period accounts of the life of a chorus girl in America.
More collected period accounts of the life of a chorus girl on both sides of the Atlantic.
A lady journalists account of spending a day as a chorus girl.
Discussing the actress as a photographers models and reproducing two period articles pertaining to the subject.
Discussing the exchange of actresses between Britain and America and reproducing period articles reporting on the subject.
A period article giving advice to actors/actresses planning a trip to the US.
Discussing the formation and early years of the actresses charitable society.
Discussing the actress first steps towards a stage career and reproducing an article discussing the work of the Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Reproducing an article describing the English residences of two great American actresses.
Charting the history of Craig-y-Nos and reproducing period accounts of Patti's life there.
Reproducing newspaper accounts of the weddings of some great actresses.
How actresses dealt with their secret admirers.
Behind the Scenes
A selection of articles discussing backstage issues.
Discussing the work of the stage doorkeeper and reproducing a collection of period articles relating to the subject.
Reproducing and discussing a period article describing the dressing rooms of various actresses.
Reproducing more period articles describing actress's dressing rooms.
Reproducing a period article discussing the preparation of a new ballet.
Reproducing a period article discussing the packing up of a show.
Reproducing a period article discussing the rehearsals for a new operetta.
Reproducing a collection of period articles discussing how a pantomime was produced.
Reproducing a collection of period articles discussing how Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" was produced.
Reproducing a period article detailing how a musical comedy is prepared.
Reproducing a period article discussing how a musical comedy chorus was recruited.
Reproducing a period article discussing the wonders of the stage property room.
Describing some strange costumes mixtures seen at a dress rehearsal.
How a Drury Lane Pantomime was prepared.
How a pantomime giant was created.
The work of the dress censor who was responsible for approving costumes.
How actors prepared for sword fights on the stage.
A selection of articles of relating to general theatrical issues.
Reproducing a period article discussing some child performers of the Edwardian era with some notes from the webmaster.
Reproducing a collection of period articles arguing for and against the merits of child actors.
Reproducing a period article discussing labour regulations for children on the stage.
Reproducing period articles interviewing child actress Iris Hawkins.
A discussion of what a night out at the Edwardian theatre might have entailed.
A brief discussion of the need for theatrical make-up and the materials available to the Edwardian artiste.
A collection of related articles from the UK and US press.
A brief history and discussion of Royal Command Performances.
Reproducing a period article discussing how costume is an expression of an actress personality.
A selection of favourite recipes from many of the actresses featured on this site.
A brief biography of Lady Duff Gordon, the most famous couturier of her day, who costumed many theatrical productions.
Discussing the problem of stage fright and reproducing a period article on the subject.
Discussing some of the superstitions prevalent amongst the denizens of the stage.
A list of theatrical productions attended by Edward VII during his reign.
A collection of period accounts of Royal visits to the theatre.
An account of the sad on-stage death of actor Temple Crozier.
Discussing the sometimes disastrous consequences of using real weapons on the stage.
A selection of articles of detailing some remarkable events of the Edwardian theatre.
A collection of short stories of some unusual and/or bizarre events that ocurred in the theatrical world.
A brief history of the 'Music Hall War' of 1907.
The story of a disgraceful mob attack on the Opera Comique theatre.
Details of three court cases affecting the life and career of the legendary dancer.
The events surrounding the arrest of Olga Nethersole for offences against public morality over her appearance in the play 'Sapho'.
Exploring the claims that Gaby Delys was not French but of Hungarian peasant stock, and did she spy for the French in the Great War?.
The bizarre story of how the husband of Isobel Jay almost lost his fortune to spiritualist tricksters.
How William Terriss, actor and father of Ellaline Terris, met his death at the hands of a madman outside the Adelphi Theatre.
The incredible war work of Maxine Elliott, risking life and limb saving Belgian refugees.
The story of the terrible gypsy curse that, allegedly, caused six talented actresses to meet untimely deaths.
How the leading dramatic critic of his day saw his career come to an abrupt end over his intemperate attack on actresses morals.
How opera diva Adelina Patti became embroiled in a trumped-up court case against her father and brother-in-law.
How a crazed man threatened to kill Lillah McCarthy and the King of England.
Why the much loved operetta, after twenty years of performances, fell foul of the censor.
How a thief made off with Lillie Langtry's fabulous jewel collection.
Why Edna May resigned her position as star of a top London production.
The story of the court case surrounding the musical comedy "The Cingalee".
How the mis-dealings of her solicitor led Mrs. Brown-Potter into bankruptcy.
How actress Daisy Markham won a record award of damages in her legal action for breach of promise.
The tragic stories of two actresses murdered by jealous former lovers.
How the trial of an actress for attempted murder tested the 'unwritten law' in France.
The sensational murder of actress Flo Dudley by a jealous deciever.
A selection of articles of detailing the international theatrical scene of the period.
A brief recounting of the development of theatrical entertainments in the Americas from colonial times to the Edwardian era.
Discussing the development and state of the stage in France.
A period account of the French stage.
Some French actresses seen on the London stage.
A brief history of Australian Theatre scene and reproducing a period account of the Australian theatrical scene.
Reproducing three more period articles on Australian Theatre.
Reproducing an article describing the Asches first Antipodean tour.
Chats With Actresses
Reproducing interviews with actresses published in period newspapers and magazines.
Lily Hanbury / Gertrude Elliott / Lillah McCarthy.
Ada Reeve / Clara Butt / Violet Tree.
Carrie Moore / Cissie Loftus / Decima Moore.
Olga Nethersole / Anna Pavlova / Emma Calve.
Evelyn Millard / Irene Vanbrugh / Ellen Terry.
A selection of press clips in which actresses give their advice on various subjects.
Lily Brayton's advice on how to succeed on the stage.
Irene Vanbrugh's advice on the trials and tribulations of a stage career.
Lily Elsie on what it took to make a success in Musical Comedy.
Olga Nethorsole on the requirements of becoming an emotional actress.
Evie Greene on coping with the difficulties encountered on stage.
Clips from Anna Held's regular newspaper column on the subject of Beauty.
Clips from Billie Burke's regular newspaper column on the subject of Marriage.
Clips from Billie Burke's regular newspaper column on the subject of Beauty.
Clips from Billie Burke's regular newspaper column on the subject of Love.
Clips from Billie Burke's regular newspaper column on the subjects of Hair and Make-up.
Stories of the Theatre
A collection of published short stories of the theatre. These were all published as true events, although some strike me as flights of fancy - I will let you judge for yourself. If nothing else, they give an interesting insight into the times.
A story of the supernatural.
A tragic story of an actress' love-life.
A tale from the twilight zone.
A story of inappropriate passion.
A tragic story of the outcome of an actress wayward life.
The happy story of a stage betrothal.
A selection of articles relating to the Ballet.
An all too brief telling of the history of the most beautiful form of performance theatre.
Describing the classic arm and foot positions and how a ballerina can rise 'en pointe' thanks to her special shoes.
A glossary of ballet terms.