Activity: Other activity types › Fellowship awarded competitively
Putting on a Show: British Industrial Village Theatre and Performance, 1889-1935
This research project will investigate amateur and professional theatre productions and community performances in three British industrial villages between 1889 and 1935. The case studies are Lever Brothers' Port Sunlight Village, established by William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925) in 1889, Bournville Village, established by George Cadbury (1839-1922) in 1900 and New Earswick Village, established by Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree (1871-1954) in 1902. Each of these industrialists believed that better living conditions and quality of life equated to better worker productivity. The urban landscapes they constructed framed villagers' lives in different ways, from the provision of allotments, leisure spaces and sports societies, to the prohibition of alcohol sales within village perimeters. This research project will explore how amateur dramatics, visiting professional theatre companies and community performances functioned within the ethos, identity, governance and day-to-day life of these three villages.