Scottish theatre and drama in the twentieth century: A critical and historical study

Hutchison, David Blythe (1975) Scottish theatre and drama in the twentieth century: A critical and historical study. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The thesis begins by examining the general Scottish theatrical situation at the end of the nineteenth century and seeks to establish both the amount of theatrical activity, and how much, if any, of it could be regarded as distinctively Scottish. Attention is given to the heavy dependence of Scotland on the London theatre at this time and to the general view of the situation as reflected in the press of the largest Scottish city. Attention is then turned to the first attempt to establish a Scottish repertory theatre, the Glasgow Repertory Company. Its progress is charted through the short period of its existence until its sudden termination on the outbreak of the first world war and then the work of the Scottish dramatists who wrote for it is discussed. The situation in the interwar period is the central focus of study in this thesis and after a general survey and some discussion of various smaller theatrical ventures, the work of the Scottish National Players is carefully scrutinised. After discussing the rise and decline of the Players, the thesis moves on to a consideration to the kind and quality of plays which were written for and produced by the Players. Two dramatists, John Brandane and George Heston Malloch, are discussed at length and thereafter the work of a number of other playwrights is considered. Finally an attempt is made to evaluate the worth of this dramatic writing and to relate it to the Scottish experience. The next chapter takes the form of a critical essay on the plays of James Bridie which seeks to ask the same kinds of questions about the worth of his contribution to the Scottish theatre and to examine how he tackled the problems which had faced the S.N.P. dramatists. After a survey of the war period in Scotland, the thesis moves on to the post war situation and attempts to delineate the various tendencies which can be discerned both in the development of theatrical facilities and in dramatic writing. The conclusion draws together the threads of the argument and seeks to explain the rather disappointing progress that has been made towards establishing a vigorous Scottish dramatic tradition.

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: James Arnott
Keywords: Theater history
Date of Award: 1975
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1975-72333
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 15:12
Last Modified: 24 May 2019 15:12

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