Review of The Empire Actors: Stars of Australasian Costume Drama 1890s-1920s, by Veronica Kelly

Exploring the 'spectacular late-century flowering of popular romantic historical melodrama' in Australasian theatre and film, The Empire Actors confirms Veronica Kelly's international reputation as a premier theatre historian of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century era (8). Drawing on a career's worth of knowledge and research, it is destined to become a much-cited reference among theatre historians of this period. This will be the case firstly among Kelly's fellow scholars in Australia and New Zealand, and secondly among others variously interested in costume drama, the significance of Australasia for the global theatre economy, and the transnational relationship between commercial theatre, modernism and modernity at the turn of the century. As Kelly points out, the economic relations, artistic ambitions and cultural imagination involved in Australasian theatre encompassed 'the West End, the English provinces and suburbs, Hollywood or Broadway, and other regions in any part of the world'(3).

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Published 1 June 2012 in Volume 27 No. 2. Subjects: Australian theatre.

Cite as: Bellanta, Melissa. ‘Review of The Empire Actors: Stars of Australasian Costume Drama 1890s-1920s, by Veronica Kelly.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 27, no. 2, 2012. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.895479e6a0.