For centuries, London theatre has celebrated a rich and influential history, and in 1976, the first volume of J. P. Wearing’s reference series provided scholars and other 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 London Stage 1900-1909 A Calendar of Productions, Performers, and Personnel, Second Edition provides a chronological calendar of London productions from the first of January 1900 through the 31st of December 1909. The volume chronicles more than 3,000 productions at 35 selected, major central London theatres during this period. For each production the following information is provided:
- 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 a plot description, the 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, well-received calendar. In addition, approximately 20% of the material included (in particular, information of adaptations and translations, plot sources, and comment information) is new. Arranged chronologically, the productions are indexed fully by title, genre, and theatre. A general index also includes numerous subject entries on such topics as acting, audiences, censorship, costumes, managers, performers, prompters, staging, ticket prices, or other relevant subjects. An authoritative reference providing essential details, this work will be of value to scholars, theatrical personnel, librarians, writers, journalists, and historians.
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.
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