Published with the Society for Theatre Research
Dr Heinrich takes Yorkshire and Westphalia as his two representative regions, detailing the history of theatre in York, Hull, Sheffield, Bradford and Leeds as well as in Münster, Dortmund, Hagen, Bielefeld and Bochum. Having detailed the histories and repertoires of individual theatres, he goes on to examine their social function, with interesting results. The perception of theatre in Britain changed dramatically during the War years: suddenly the British government became interested in influencing the arts and introduced state subsidies on an unprecedented scale. At the heart of the new policy was not only the belief that theatre could play an important role in the war effort (as both entertainment and education) but also a concept of municipal theatre provision which was, in effect, similar to that which already prevailed in Germany.
In Germany, despite claims by the Nazis that theatre programmes must reflect National-Socialist ideas, regional repertoires remained largely unchanged from the days of the Weimar Republic, with comedies, farces and operettas designed to appeal to public taste.
In successfully challenging dominant views regarding the alleged fundamental differences between British and German theatre, Dr Heinrich's findings mean that, to an extent, a key chapter in European theatre history must be rewritten.
Dr Anselm Heinrich is Lecturer in Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow. He has published on different aspects of British and German history.
'This is an exciting, original and ground-breaking book which will become essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the history of provincial theatre in Britain and Germany' Jeffrey Richards, Professor of Cultural History, Lancaster Unviversity
'The quality of the research is exemplary and has produced a welcome addition to national theatre histories of both Britain and Germany.' Claire Cochrane, New Theatre Quarterly
Published March 2008; 288pp; paperback