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Scottish GothicAn Edinburgh Companion$
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Carol Margaret Davison and Monica Germana

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408196

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408196.001.0001

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Scottish Gothic Drama

Scottish Gothic Drama

(p.59) Chapter 5 Scottish Gothic Drama
Scottish Gothic

Barbara A. E. Bell

Edinburgh University Press

Scottish theatre, from the mid-eighteenth century onwards, has been characterised by a distinctive performance culture that values anti-illusionist techniques, breaking the fourth wall, music and song, strongly physical acting styles and striking visual effects. These were accepted traits of the Georgian theatre as a whole; however, they endured in Scotland through the music hall and pantomime traditions, when late nineteenth-century Western theatre was focused on realism/naturalism. Their importance to the search for a distinctive Scottish Gothic Drama lies in the way that the conditions of the Scottish theatre during the Gothic Revival valued these skills and effects. That theatre was heavily constricted in what it could play by censorship from London and writers were cautious in their approach to ‘national’ topics. At the same time a good deal of work portraying Scotland as an inherently Gothic setting was imported onto Scottish stages.

Keywords:   Theatre, Drama, Scottish, Play

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