John Gay's <i>The Beggar's Opera</i> 1728-2004 : Adaptations and Re-Writings

John Gay's <i>The Beggar's Opera</i> 1728-2004 : Adaptations and Re-Writings


When Richard Steele remarked that the greatest Evils in human Society are such as no Law can come at, he was not able to forsee the spectacular success of John Gay's satire of society, the administration of law and crime, politics, the Italian opera and other topics. Gay's The Beggar's Opera, with its mixture of witty dialogue and popular songs, was imitated by 18th century writers, criticized by those on the seats of power, but remained a favourite of the English theatre public ever since. With N. Playfair's 1920 revival and B. Brecht's and K. Weill's 1928 Dreigroschenoper, Gay's play has been a starting-point for dramatists such as V. Havel (Zebracka opera, 1975), W. Soyinka (Opera Wonyosi, 1977), Ch. Buarque (Opera do Malandro, 1978), D. Fo (L'opera dello sghignazzo, 1981), A. Ayckbourn (A Chorus of Disapproval, 1984), as well as others such as Latouche, Hacks, Fassbinder, Dear, Wasserman, and Lepage. Apart from contributions by international scholars analysing the above-named plays, the editors' introduction covers other dramatists that have payed hommage to Gay. This interdisciplinary collection of essays is of particular interest for scholars working in the field of drama/theatre studies, the eighteenth century, contemporary drama, postcolonial studies, and politics and the stage.

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Ines Detmers, Anna-christina Giovanopoulos, Uwe Böker
Hardback | 347 pages
154.9 x 226.1 x 27.9mm | 657.72g
Publication date
30 Nov 2006
Editions Rodopi B.V.
Publication City/Country
Leiden, Netherlands
English, German