Musical Theatre Report

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Daniel Smales                Musical Theatre Logbook

History of Musical Theatre Report

Musical Theatre is a form theatre performance, it has been around for a long time and it’s been a popular attraction to theatre goers. Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The emotional content of them can be one a few of many such as, humour, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Musical theatre works, usually referred to as musicals, are performed around the world. They may be presented in large venues, such as big budget West End and Broadway theatre productions in London and New York City, or in smaller Fringe Theatre, Off-Broadway. They can tend to be also found in small theatres around the globe such as the Hull New Theatre which I visit a lot throughout the year. Musical Theatre performances can also be created by budget companies that want to create a better living and tour the UK or anywhere in the world, or even by amateur groups in schools, theatres and other performance spaces. In addition to Britain and North America, there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in many countries in Europe, South America and Asia. There have been a lot of musicals that have been created and left a mark in the world these include some of the following…

  • Blood Brothers
  • Oklahoma!
  • West Side Story
  • The Fantastic’s
  • Hair
  • Les Miserable’s
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Rent
  • The Producers.
  • Wicked
  • Hair Spray
  • Cats
  • Grease
  • Oliver
  • Annie
  • Carousel
  • South Pacific
  • The King and I
  • The Sound of Music
  • Oklahoma!
  • And many more…

These are true musicals that have been created and very well known to a lot of people. These types of musicals have a lot of emotions that can be heart break or humour even the odd slapstick. The musicals today have not been created to the such wonderful performances there once was, some of the best writers and composers are no longer with us and certain few people just have this spark such the parallel novel by Gregory Maguire who created the musical Wicked. These are a lot of these people that are needed to make Musicals come back to life.

Middle Ages

The Musical Theatre is not just an average theatre history it goes right back to the middle ages. Musical theatre in Europe dates back to the theatre of the ancient Greeks, who included music and dance in their stage comedies and tragedies as early as the 5th century B.C. The Third Century B.C. Roman comedies of Plautus included song and dance routines performed with orchestrations. The coliseum is what the Romans are known for in theatre there wasn’t much singing created there, however this has its part in history towards theatre.

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The popularity of theatre declined somewhat in the Roman Empire, but some innovations were made: to make the dance steps more audible in large open air theatres, Roman actors attached metal chips called "sabilla" to their stage footwear – the first tap shoes. During the middle Ages, performers travelled from town to town trying to find an audience. At times, they were barred, as it was feared that they brought the plague. In the 12th and 13th centuries, religious dramas, such as The Play of Herod and The Play of Daniel taught the liturgy, set to church chants. To ...

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