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Article: Troubling Englishness: The Eastward Success and Westward Failure of the Parsi Theatre

TitleTroubling Englishness: The Eastward Success and Westward Failure of the Parsi Theatre
Authors
KeywordsCosmopolitanism
Exhibitions
Globalisation
Parsi theatre
Touring
White face
Issue Date2017
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/nineteenth-century-theatre-and-film/journal202522#Nineteenth%20Century%20Theatre%20and%20Film
Citation
Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film, 2017, v. 44 n. 1, p. 75-91 How to Cite?
AbstractThe Parsi theatre that emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century was India's principal commercial theatre and an answer to the bourgeois aspirations of a new middle class. Although its importance has been acknowledged due to its role as the predecessor of the South and Southeast Asian ‘modern’ theatre, there exists to this date no published critical history of the politics of its professionalisation and transregional expansion. This article will serve as a corrective measure, filling in the gap in existing research through a comparative analysis of the reception of the Parsi theatre marked by the Victoria Nāṭak Maṇḍali's (Victoria Theatrical Company's) decision to tour Burma in 1881 and subsequently to participate in the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886 in London. As a vehicle of increasingly globalised mass consumption practices, the Parsi theatre was a resounding success in Southeast Asia, inspiring the creation of ‘imitation Parsi theatre’ in present-day Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. In stark comparison, the Parsi theatre's portrayal of a cosmopolitan, urban, industrially advanced orient was ‘doomed to disappointment’ in London and was an unequivocal financial failure. By demonstrating the reasons for the Parsi theatre's eastward success and westward failure this article demonstrates not merely the unevenness of cultural globalisation but also the need for a reconsideration of the place of material, socio-political and racial imbalances and relatedly of immobilities, embargoes, disjunctures and exclusions in our understandings of global or transnational theatre history.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/267195
ISSN

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorNicholson, RD-
dc.date.accessioned2019-02-12T07:47:51Z-
dc.date.available2019-02-12T07:47:51Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationNineteenth Century Theatre and Film, 2017, v. 44 n. 1, p. 75-91-
dc.identifier.issn1748-3727-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/267195-
dc.description.abstractThe Parsi theatre that emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century was India's principal commercial theatre and an answer to the bourgeois aspirations of a new middle class. Although its importance has been acknowledged due to its role as the predecessor of the South and Southeast Asian ‘modern’ theatre, there exists to this date no published critical history of the politics of its professionalisation and transregional expansion. This article will serve as a corrective measure, filling in the gap in existing research through a comparative analysis of the reception of the Parsi theatre marked by the Victoria Nāṭak Maṇḍali's (Victoria Theatrical Company's) decision to tour Burma in 1881 and subsequently to participate in the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886 in London. As a vehicle of increasingly globalised mass consumption practices, the Parsi theatre was a resounding success in Southeast Asia, inspiring the creation of ‘imitation Parsi theatre’ in present-day Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. In stark comparison, the Parsi theatre's portrayal of a cosmopolitan, urban, industrially advanced orient was ‘doomed to disappointment’ in London and was an unequivocal financial failure. By demonstrating the reasons for the Parsi theatre's eastward success and westward failure this article demonstrates not merely the unevenness of cultural globalisation but also the need for a reconsideration of the place of material, socio-political and racial imbalances and relatedly of immobilities, embargoes, disjunctures and exclusions in our understandings of global or transnational theatre history.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherSage Publications Ltd.. The Journal's web site is located at https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/nineteenth-century-theatre-and-film/journal202522#Nineteenth%20Century%20Theatre%20and%20Film-
dc.relation.ispartofNineteenth Century Theatre and Film-
dc.rightsNineteenth Century Theatre and Film. Copyright © Sage Publications Ltd..-
dc.subjectCosmopolitanism-
dc.subjectExhibitions-
dc.subjectGlobalisation-
dc.subjectParsi theatre-
dc.subjectTouring-
dc.subjectWhite face-
dc.titleTroubling Englishness: The Eastward Success and Westward Failure of the Parsi Theatre-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailNicholson, RD: rnich@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityNicholson, RD=rp02443-
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/1748372717735819-
dc.identifier.volume44-
dc.identifier.issue1-
dc.identifier.spage75-
dc.identifier.epage91-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom-

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