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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.”

“Visitors to Reading jail this autumn might encounter Patti Smith reading the four-and-a-half-hour entirety of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis, or see new artworks by Steve McQueen, Nan Goldin or Marlene Dumas dotted around echoing corridors and empty cells.

Artangel announced on Thursday that it was taking over one of the most notorious prisons in the UK, the place where Wilde spent a harrowing, soul-destroying two years from 1895-97” (Guardian, 21 July 2016).

Read the remainder of the story here.

I’ve just written a short article on the reception of Bernard Shaw’s plays on the London stage during his lifetime. It deals with how critics and audiences alike responded to his plays and offers some new perspectives. It’s called: “Reception in London, 1892–1950,” in George Bernard Shaw in Context, ed. Brad Kent (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 317–324.

Just a few words about the illegal “free downloads” of my books that can be found on the Internet. Since all my books are in copyright, all such downloads are illegal. Moreover, the objective of the sites that offer these downloads is to infect the computer of the person downloading the book and then perpetrate some scam (I would imagine this would be financial, identity theft, etc.). These sites are easy to spot because they usually piggyback on a genuine website. Here is the link to the first one I found today:

http://www.loggerlanetownhomes.com/data/it/J-P-Wearing/m185464/

The legitimate part of this link is : http://www.loggerlanetownhomes.com, the remainder leads you to the so-called free download.

Obviously, this problem affects virtually every author, and the best “solution” is for potential readers of such downloads to do the right thing and buy a genuine copy of the book, or at least go to their local library and borrow it. While the Internet encourages the free dissemination of ideas etc., such scams rob authors of some financial reward for their labors. Many years of work have gone into the making of my own books and surely even the slender remuneration royalties offer is just and appropriate. In any event, those who want free downloads might consider whether the damage caused to their computers and their financial lives is worth it.

 

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 1930–1939: A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel provides a chronological calendar of London shows from the first of January, 1930, through the 31st of December, 1939. The volume chronicles more than 4,250 productions at 61 major central London theatres during this period. For each production the following information is provided:

  1. Title
  2. Author
  3. Theatre
  4. Performers
  5. Personnel
  6. Opening and Closing Dates
  7. 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 Barretts of Wimpole Street, French without Tears, George and Margaret, The Greeks Had a Word for It, Laburnum Grove, Lady Precious Stream, The Late Christopher Bean, Love on the Dole, Me and My Girl, Private Lives, and 1066 and All That, 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 1930-1939 will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.

 

Review:

Opening a new or revised reference work is like opening an unearthed treasure. You never know what’s inside, but you know the baubles will bedazzle. The London Stage does not disappoint. Herewith each volume covers over 4,000 productions at more than three score theaters in the Bard’s hometown, so to speak. The tome—and it is a doorstopper weighing in at about seven pounds—provides first night details of plays over a decade, with one volume covering 1920-1929 and the second covering 1930-1939. Productions are arranged chronologically followed by the title of the work, genre, author, theater length of run, male and female cast members, production staff, plot précis, bibliography of reviews, and comment. The last ranges from what a reviewer might have thought, audience reception, and the like. Wearing gleaned the information from over a dozen specialized theater reviewing media, newspapers, nearly a dozen libraries and or archives, ranging from The British Library to Theatre Collection of Bristol University, and a half dozen specialized reference sources (e.g., Grove’s Who’s Who in Theatre). In other words, there may not be more comprehensive guides available. These works are a must-have for theater departments, and really any library interested in play productions.
American Reference Books Annual

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’s productions 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 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 references to reviews. A comment section includes other interesting information about the production, 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.

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 productions 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.

 

Reviews:

These three volumes update earlier editions–The London Stage, 1890-1899 (1st ed., CH, Nov’76), 1900-1909 (1st ed., CH, Oct’81), and 1910-1919 (1st ed., 1982). These calendars furnish chronological listings of productions, performers, and personnel on the London stage; each one chronicles over 3,000 productions at more than 30 selected theaters in the London area. With the availability of new digitized resources and other reference works, Wearing (has amassed new details to embellish his earlier work. Entries include title of production, genre, number of acts, authors, theater, date and length of run, performers, personnel, references to reviews, and more. Once users become familiar with the format and key to the entries, these volumes, which are arranged in a logical fashion, are easy to use. Included are title, genre, theater, and general indexes, as well as lists of references. Concluding each entry are comments made by the author that provide readers with further information. The publisher indicates that approximately 20 percent of the content is new in these volumes, including material concerning translations, adaptations, and plot sources. Readers may also wish to consult Wearing’s The London Stage, 1930-1939 and The London Stage, 1940-1949 Second editions for both these books are in the works, as well as for the 1920-29 and 1950-59 periods. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and above.
CHOICE

The 1st editions of these volumes were published in 1976, nearly 40 years ago. Since that time several new research aids have become available in the form of digitization of newspapers and periodicals, making this update a worthwhile purchase. The 2d editions provide a chronological calendar of London productions from January 1890 through December 1899; from January 1900 through December 1909; and from January 1910 through December 1919. More than 20 percent of the material is new to these editions, particularly information on adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comments. The London Stage 1890-1899 chronicles more than 3,000 productions at over 30 London theaters. The London Stage 1900-1909 presents more than 3,000 productions at 35 major central London theaters. The London Stage 1910-1919 chronicles some 3,000 productions at 35 major central London theaters during this 10-year span. For each users will find the following information: title, author, theater, actors, assisting personnel, opening and closing dates, and the number of performances. There is also information on the type of genre, the number of acts, and reviews. Comments have been expanded in this edition and include details on the plot, audience reception, and noteworthy performances. The works are thoroughly indexed by play title, genre, and theater. A longer general index provides users access. These volumes will be useful in academic and public libraries where theater students, writers, and theater historians will have access to their many treasures.
American Reference Books Annual

Here’s another review:

This is an exhaustive resource that attempts to provide biographical information on more than 90,000 individuals working in or connected with British and American theater. An update of the compiler’s American and British Theatrical Biography: A Directory, with this edition Wearing has expanded the work and drawn on information from more than 130 sources and 500 volumes of work. Foreign-born actors that have made significant contributions to British and American theater are included as well. The author has been broad in his definition of “theater,” allowing the work to cover ballet, opera, circus, and music halls. For each biographical entry the following is provided: name, birth and death date (if applicable), nationality, theatrical occupation, and codes to sources where more information can be found. This book will be useful in academic and public libraries where theater students, writers, and theater historians will have access to its many treasures.
(American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)