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Theatre and War 1933-1945: Performance in Extremis

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Theatre and War 1933-1945

Performance in Extremis

Edited by Michael Balfour

208 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-762-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2001)

ISBN  978-1-57181-497-5 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (October 2001)

eISBN 978-1-78920-365-3 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


On an April evening in 1934, on the River Arno in Florence, an air squadron, an infantry, a cavalry brigade, fifty trucks, four field and machine gun batteries, ten field radio stations, and six photoelectric units presented a piece of theatre. The mass spectacle, 18 BL involved over two thousand amateur actors and was performed before an audience of twenty thousand.

18 BL is one of eleven extraordinary essays collected together for the first time. The essays have been selected and edited from a wide range of publications dating from the 1940s to the 1990s. The authors are academics, cultural historians, and theatre practitioners - some with direct experience of the harsh conditions of Europe during the war. Each author critically assesses the function of theatre in times of world crisis, exploring themes of Fascist aesthetic propaganda in Italy and Germany, of theatre re-education programmes in the Gulags of Russia, of cultural "sustenance" for the troops at the front and interned German refugees in the UK, or cabaret shows as a currency for survival in Jewish concentration camps.

Michael Balfour is currently head of BA in Drama, Theatre and Television at King Alfred's, Winchester and an award winning writer of theatre, film and radio scripts.

Subject: Performance Studies WWII History
Area: Germany Europe




Chapter 1. The Adventures of Mother Cartridge-Pouch
Jeffrey T. Schnapp

Chapter 2. Theatre and Politics of the Mussolini Regime
Pietro Cavallo

Chapter 3. Towards an Aesthetic of Fascist Opera
Erik Levi

Chapter 4. Hitler’s Theatre
Bruce Zortman


Chapter 5. The War Years
Andrew Davies

Chapter 6. The Role of Joan of Arc on the Stage of Occupied Paris 65
Gabriel Jacobs


Chapter 7. German Refugee Theatre in British Internment 83
Alan Clarke

Chapter 8. Thespis Behind the Wire – A Personal Recollection
George Brandt

Chapter 9. The Muses in Gulag
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Chapter 10. Cabaret in Concentration Camps
Peter Jelavich


Chapter 11. Brigades at the Front
Joseph Macleod


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