Category: The London Stage 1940–1949: A Calendar of Productions


Here’s a review in The Year’s Work in English Studies (2016):

“J.P. Wearing’s epic series of reference books on the London stage has proved an invaluable resource for theatre scholars since it first started to appear in the 1970s. Covering details about productions at every major London theatre from the 1890s to the 1950s, The London Stage: A Calendar of Plays and Players eventually spanned sixteen volumes. The indexes have now been republished in two monumental editions, which retain the same chronological divisions into decades (1890-9, 1900-0, etc.) with related material. This new publication also includes four key indexes to aid information-gathering: general, genre, theatre, and title. While there has been the occasional quibble about discrepancies with production figures, Wearing’s work remains the most reliable and informative source on plays in London during the first half of the twentieth century, and many will find this two-volume edition of great help.”

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I’ve just discovered that a line is missing on page 511, at the bottom of the second column of the Theatre Index. The missing line is: Haymarket: 40–50, 150; 41–48; 42–29, 48–50; 43–52, 59– (the entry for the Haymarket continues over the page on p. 512). This is true of both the print and electronic versions. However, the entry for the Haymarket in the Accumulated Indexes volume is complete in both editions. If anyone spots any additional errors I would be grateful if they would let me know so that they can be posted here on the blog.

 

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.

Spanning 1890 through the 1950s, all seven volumes of The London Stage series have been revised, corrected, and expanded. In addition, approximately 20 percent of the material—in particular, information about adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comment information—is new.

Although each volume contains indexes specific to that decade, The London Stage 1890–1959: Accumulated Indexes combines all of the indexes into one comprehensive resource for more efficient research. For example, those wishing to locate all the references to a particular actor, play, or theatre whose history spanned more than one decade will find all of the entries listed in this set.

This set includes four key indexes: general, genre, theatre, and title.

  • The general index consists of numerous subject entries on such topics as acting, audiences, censorship, costumes, managers, performers, prompters, staging, and ticket prices. With approximately 40,000 people listed, this is the largest single source of theatrical personnel on the London stage during this period.
  • The genre index comprises all entries for production types, including comedies, dramas, farces, and tragedies, as well as ballets, operas, adaptations, foreign works, pantomimes, and translations.
  • The theatre index features every building to stage a production, from the Adelphi to Wyndham’s.
  • The title index cites 14,000 productions, identifying every work produced on stage from Domestic Economy in January 1890 to When in Rome in December 1959.


As a supplement to the individual volumes, The London Stage 1890–1959: Accumulated Indexes will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.

 

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 1940–1949: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel provides a chronological calendar of London shows from the first of January, 1940, through the 31st of December, 1949. The volume chronicles more than 2,400 productions at 53 major central London theatres during this period. For each production the following information is provided:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Theatre
  • Performers
  • Personnel
  • 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 The Light of Heart, Mr. Bolfry, Perchance to Dream, Pacific 1860, Bless the Bride, The Lady’s Not for Burning, The Late Edwina Black, Outrageous Fortune, Seagulls over Sorrento, and Buoyant Billions, as well as numerous musical comedies (British and American), foreign works, operas, ballets, 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 1940-1949 will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.