Bloomsbury at play

Wright, E.H (2011) Bloomsbury at play. In: 'What Signifies A Theatre?' Conference, 17-18 June 2011, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

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This paper explores the private, and largely unpublished, theatrical entertainments penned and performed by Virginia Woolf and her Bloomsbury milieu. In Bloomsbury, an evening’s entertainment ranged from Shakespeare to can-can dancing, from ballet to bawdy music hall ditties; it could be meticulously planned or entirely spontaneous. Critics have scarcely considered the significance of private theatricals in Bloomsbury, yet they performed a number of interesting tasks while masquerading as family entertainment. ‘Am dram’, while ostensibly used for entertainment, also revealed secrets, lampooned embarrassing idiosyncrasies, flattered, criticised, resolved disputes, soothed hurts, solidified the myth of Bloomsbury as an elite clique and brought the impermissible and unspeakable into the open. Using unpublished archival manuscripts from the papers of some of the most notable figures among of the group and the humour theory of figures such as Freud, Bergson, Billig and Critchley, this paper reveals a new and highly personal perspective on Bloomsbury at play.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Theme of the conference was 'Private Theatricals and Amateur Performance, 1780-1900'.

Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2015 16:11
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:40
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