Before its June 1889 premiere at the Novelty Theatre, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was twice staged in the capital; once in 1885, and once in 1886. In 1886, it was given in a private performance in a Bloomsbury lodging-house, with George Bernard Shaw as Krogstad, and ELEANOR MARX as Nora. ELEANOR MARX (interesting 2005 article here from the Socialist Worker). Can you imagine? How wonderful to have been there.
My, but there’s a lot to be said for reading your tutor’s book. I love theatre history. The 1889 premiere of A Doll’s House starred Janet Achurch as Nora, Herbert Waring as Torvald and Achurch’s husband, Charles Charrington, as Dr. Rank. Achurch gave a famous interview in the midst of the critical furore which followed (Clement Scott, predictably, managed to get nearly as angry about Nora as he would about Hedda two years later – and he called Hedda the most ‘morally repulsive woman to appear on stage’), saying that Nora was ‘perfectly right’ to leave her husband, as she famously does at the end of the play (also notable, but less positive, was Achurch’s morphine addiction, following a disastrous labour and stillbirth, which eventually killed her). She even defended Nora’s abandoning her children, which the Daily Telegraph critic said ‘no women breathing’ would have done. Other reading delights today have included Alan’s Wife by Elizabeth Robins (my new obsession – apparently late Victorian & Edwardian Britain was full of awesome feminist playwrights), wherein woman kills disabled child. In, you know, 1893. If you have Muse access, Katherine E. Kelly has a really interesting article here.
- The ‘British Wildcats‘, the group massing behind the ‘British Jobs for British Workers’ union-rejected strikes, is BNP-affiliated, as revealed by The Ministry Of Truth. Proof? here.
- Wednesday’s Front Row on Radio 4 had an interesting item on the history of Sex Education films. There are some hilarious examples of teen information films on YouTube (I love What To Do On A Date, from 1950), as well as a parody from Colbert, Dinello & Sedaris, How To Be Popular.
- And, finally, Clamorous Voice has been listed on WordPress’s Feb 02 list of Growing Blogs! Okay, so it’s small, but I’m still pleased. I love watching where people are coming from (bizarrely, a lot of people seem to find this blog by searching for ‘Michelle Obama’… fortunately the other popular search terms, like ‘bodleian’ or, er, ‘david tennant’ make a lot more sense), it’s sort of addictive.
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.