This book covers a relevant, up-to-date subject, with the current climate in Britain’s regional theatres. It draws upon material from over 25 face-to-face interviews, as well as traditional archival research. It presents a grassroots and empirical look at the crisis in practice through individual theatre profiles.A crisis between 1979 and 1997 saw over a quarter of Britain’s regional theatres closed down. Those that survived found themselves constantly on the brink, forced to radically reduce their programmes and go dark for extended periods of time. Turnball’s investigation into the crisis reveals problems extending beyond the government’s scant regard for the arts, right back to World War II. “Bringing Down the House” delves into how and why the crisis occurred, and examines its long-lasting effects on the British theatre industry. By probing into the history of regional theatres from the introduction of state funding after the war, Turnball unearths a catalogue of re-occurring problems that ensured the fabric of British theatre was historically fragile.Turnball seeks to address why theatres were so ill equipped to deal with Thatcherism and asks what, if anything, was done under Blair to address the situation.An important and timely read for theatre and cultural history scholars alike, “Bringing Down the House” interrogates the history and politics of regional theatre.
Author: Olivia Turnbull
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