The Epitome of National Life: Metropolitan Music Hall and Variety Theatre, 1913-1919
Challenging the enduring reputation of the metropolitan music hall as a site of jingoistic patriotism during the First World War, this chapter explores its theatre as the product of an unprecedented negotiation between a mature mass entertainment industry and the economic and political demands of total war. It focuses on three London halls - the Coliseum, the Oxford and the Empire. Their varied responses to such factors as government intervention, changing audiences and the competition of cinema, it suggests, traces both a resilient adaptation to new circumstances and the ultimate transformation of the music hall from an innovative cultural industry to a repository of national tradition.
Citation:Featherstone, S. (2015) The Epitome of National Life: Metropolitan Music Hall and Variety Theatre, 1913-1919, In: Andrew Maunder (ed.) British Theatre and the Great War, 1914-1919: New Perspectives, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 179-194
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