Issues in theatrical management: Howard and Wyndham and the evolution of the British touring circuit

Iles, Paul (1997) Issues in theatrical management: Howard and Wyndham and the evolution of the British touring circuit. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of scanned version of the original print thesis] PDF (scanned version of the original print thesis)
Download (73MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


This study sets out to analyse and discuss a number of key issues in theatrical management within the boundaries of a larger narrative about the history of the Scottish company, Howard and Wyndham. It considers changing shifts in leadership and policy, from actor- managers to business managers, from stock company to the rise and fall of the touring circuit, tensions between the provincial theatre and London's West End, the ground between commerce and art, the relationship of a profit-making company to subsidised theatres and the separation of theatre buildings and theatre production. The study is divided into six chapters and a conclusion, with two appendices and bibliography. It covers a period from 1851 to 1977. Chapter One introduces the thesis by attempting to define the role of manager in the theatre in relationship to the artform, discusses the work of earlier and famous theatrical managers, observes the historiography of theatrical managers and their work, discussing books about theatre history in which the subject is treated, at best, superficially. Chapter Two examines the origins of the Howard and Wyndham organisation in the mid-nineteenth century, under the leadership of actor-managers at the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh. It scrutinises their artistically and commercially respected enterprise, managing theatres, producing plays with a resident company and building the foundations for expansion. Chapter Three observes the formal incorporation of the company, the rise of touring managers and their productions, further expansion in Scotland and England, its profitability and the transition from the founding Howard and Wyndham families to the Cruikshanks, another father and son partnership. Chapter Four describes the influence of business managers, the move of head office to London, expansion towards theatrical monopoly and the company's relationship to primary producers through an interlocking myriad of directorships with West End theatres. Chapter Five is an assessment of the company's detailed management operations, explaining how a sophisticated and profit oriented administration served its large chain of theatres. Chapter Six considers the decline of the company and weighs internal causes leading to its closure with external influences wrought by the ebb of touring theatre. The conclusion comments briefly on the Howard and Wyndham experience in its entirety, highlighting its striking characteristics and discussing its particular merits and shortcomings. Appendices comprise a glossary of terms used in theatre management and touring as well as an examination of key contracts.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Theatre history, arts management.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Scullion, Dr. Adrienne and McDonald, Prof. Jan
Date of Award: 1997
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:1997-8516
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2017 11:56
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2022 15:33
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.8516

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year