Selected Plays of Dion Boucicault
Dion Boucicault was a prominent playwright and prolific translator and adapter of foreign plays and novels for the Victorian commercial theatre for over forty years. Born in Dublin, he achieved his first West End success with London Assurance in 1841. His work frankly catered to contemporary taste and fell rapidly into neglect after his death in 1890. His lively observation of humanity in many moods and his unerring sense of what works on the stage have saved his plays from oblivion: there have been successful revivals in our own times by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Belfast's Lyric, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. The selection of his work in this volume stresses Boucicault's consummate craft as a writer for the theatre in the age of actor-managers and melodrama. It also reminds us of that Irish verve, charm and adroitness which made him the best playwright of his generation in England and America as well as Ireland. Arguably the father of both the Irish and American drama, his characteristic plotting and taste for sensation suggest that another of his heirs was the early movie industry.
This selection contains the great success of his youth, London Assurance, together with his Preface; his durable version of the melodrama, The Corsican Brothers; his exciting American plantationplay, The Octoroon, with both its endings; and his fine Irish plays, The Colleen Bawn, The Shaughraun, and Robert Emmet. Dates of first performances and cast lists are given, as are the songs, music and a glossary for the Irish plays. There is also a selected bibliographical checklist. This selection of Boucicault's vast opus has been chosen and introduced by Professor Andrew Parkin.
ABOUT THE EDITOR:
Andrew Parkin teaches at the University of British Columbia. He has edited The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies since 1975. His other publications include Stage One: A Canadian Scenebook, The Dramatic Imagination of W.B.Yeats, and many articles and book reviews. A volume of his poems will be published in Canada later this year.
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