The Continuum companion to twentieth century theatre /
edited by Colin Chambers.
London ; New York : Continuum, 2002.
xxv, 866 p. ; 26 cm.
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London ; New York : Continuum, 2002.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2002-06-15:
Chambers, former literary manager of the Royal Shakespeare Company and now at De Montfort Univ., Leicester, U.K., has brought together over 2500 entries that range widely over theater in the last century. The text serves well as a jumping off point, giving satisfactory information to readers seeking short answers (e.g., "What was the Hedgerow Theatre?"). In addition, topics are covered here that might otherwise prove elusive, as in the informative entry "Portuguese-Speaking African Theatre," found by first looking up Mozambique. However, even at its steep retail price, this book lacks illustrations, and given its vast scope and its limitations as a single volume, shortcomings are inevitable. For example, there is no entry for "Palestinian Theatre"; only upon looking up "Arab Theatre" can one find the appropriate article on "Middle East and North Africa" among the subheadings. Ngaio Marsh, an outstanding New Zealand theatrical figure, receives no mention, but one can learn about Jamaican playwright Una Marson. The entry on Noel Coward is significantly shorter than that on Federico Garcia Lorca, though both are major figures. The bibliographies attached to many articles are very brief (author, title, year published) and are not meant to be comprehensive; one can find as much or more while browsing any university online catalog. On the plus side, a particular highlight is the collection of articles throughout written by practicing theater professionals: Arnold Wesker on playwrighting, Ben Kingsley on preparing a part, Daniel Massey on performing Shaw, etc. All in all, as with so many one-volume encyclopedic works, this is a valuable but uneven work. Recommended for public and smaller academic libraries. Susan L. Peters, Univ. of Texas, Galveston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2002-11-01:
The 2,500 entries in this international companion to 20th-century theater are the result of painstaking effort by 280 contributors from 20 countries. Chambers (De Montfort Univ., UK) has written several works on the theater, including The Story of Unity Theatre (CH, Apr'90). Coverage includes entries on "theatre institutions, key towns and cities, countries, genres, trends," terminology, and individuals associated with any aspect of the theater. Entries focus primarily on contemporary English-speaking theater, but the work's international coverage is broad, it uses contemporary terminology, and it features highlights from performers' perspective ("Performing Shaw"). The arrangement is alphabetical with abundant cross-references. An index, photographs, and illustrations would have been useful. The Facts on File Dictionary of the Theatre, ed. by William Packard, David Pickering, and Charlotte Savidge (CH, Jun '89), fails to provide entries as long or international coverage in as great depth as Chambers. Recommended for general readers through professionals. J. R. Carter Wilkes University
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, June 2002
Booklist, November 2002
Choice, November 2002
Reference & Research Book News, November 2002
Choice, November 2003
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