The Development of the Role of the Actor-Musician in Britain by British Directors Since the 1960s

Greatorex, Francesca Mary. 2016. The Development of the Role of the Actor-Musician in Britain by British Directors Since the 1960s. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis will investigate the creation and development by two British
directors, Glen Walford and Bob Carlton, of the use of the actor-musician in
small-scale touring, popular theatre community and subsidised repertory with a
strong community base performance practices from 1960 to 2000. It will argue
that the actor-musician had been established in touring community theatre
companies, where distinctive working methodologies had evolved. Using
previously unpublished archive material and new interviews; this is the first
dedicated academic study to identify the work of these directors as a distinctive
and innovative practice, which has one key strand of musical theatre
performance in Britain since the 1960s. It locates this new body of practice in a
diverse tradition of socially engaged and politically informed theatre that
evolved through times of financial stringency, it will argue nonetheless that the
work of these two directors has primarily creative or artistic validity which was
driven and underpinned by social and political concern.

The thesis will demonstrate that the two directors investigated represent the key
line of continuity in the field of actor-musician practice. Each of these directors
has worked and continued to work in very distinct styles and contexts and
utilised the actor-musician in differing ways. The thesis will employ case studies
in order to demonstrate ways in which the potential and range of the actormusician
was developed in: classic plays, including Shakespeare reworked and
extant musicals; new work that has been specifically conceived and created for
actor-musicians. In conclusion it will evaluate the continuing significance of this
practice within British musical theatre.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Actor-musician, British, Directors, Glen Walford, Bob Carlton, Theatre, 1960s, Shakespeare

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Theatre and Performance (TAP)


30 April 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

16 May 2016 14:06

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 11:38


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