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London's Grand Guignol and the Theatre of Horror (University of Exeter Press - Exeter Performance Studies)

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0859897921
ISBN-10: 0859897923
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'...Richard J. Hand and Micheal Wilson, who have previously written on the French Grand Guignol for this excellent series from the University of Exeter Press, now turn to the English variant...' '...London's Grand Guignol is a fine introduction to a neglected corner of the twentieth-century arts world.' (TLS, 18. 04. 08) "Altogether this is a well-researched book on a fascinating piece of theatre history."' (Year's Work in English Studies, vol. 89, no. 1, 2010) '...London's Grand Guignol allows Hand and Wilson to make a persuasive case for Grand Guignol's place not only in modern theatre history, but also in the film history of thrillers and horror films. This book will be useful as a hands-on theatre history and practice text for programs where one might imagine offering students an opportunity to apply their creativity to the same challenges Jose Levy faced.' (Theatre Survey, Vol 50/2, November 2009) 'Altogether this is a well-researched book on a fascinating piece of theatre history.' (Year's Work in English Studies, vol. 89, no. 1, 2010)

About the Author

Richard J. Hand is professor of theater and media drama at the University of Glamorgan.
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Product Details

  • Series: University of Exeter Press - Exeter Performance Studies
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of Exeter Press (March 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0859897923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0859897921
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,737,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The most interesting thing about this book is what it is not. One thinks of Grand Guignol and the French Theatre of Horror with delicious nastiness because of the extreme nature of the effects of violence and the over the top melodrama. While London's version of this kind of theatre had plenty of melodrama, it was forced because of censorship to tone down the physical horror.
The book gives a nicely done history of the movement in London, including short bios of the famous actors who participated. There are ample illustrations. The second half of the book contains a collection of these "English" horror plays. Some come off as just pain stupid, a few are fun, and some are close to brilliant and make you want to see them, or if you are a theatre manager, do them. Well worth the price.
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