What's on

Drama performances, events and seminars are shown on this page. Please remember that coursework performances may not appear until a week before the performance, so please check back regularly.

Tue 07 May

Start time: 10:00

Admission Free
End Time: 15:00

Drama Employability Day

Location: TS1 (Alexander Building, Thornlea, New North Rd.)

A day of employability-focussed sessions to help you think about your next steps, to make productive use of the summer vacation, and how to find a career you love.
More information will follow soon.

Wed 15 May

Start time: 16:30

Tickets for students/staff: 30
Tickets for public: 20
Admission Free
End Time: 18:00

Broadcasting the Boer War: patriotism, public opinion, and performance culture

Presented by: Peter Yeandle (Loughborough)
Location: TS1 (Alexander Building, Thornlea, New North Rd.)

The Boer War (1899-1902) has been called the ‘first modern media war’ with good reason. Several important studies have demonstrated the influential role of the press in disseminating information to a public thirsty for up-to-the-minute news. Indeed: witness the rush of the press to publish war correspondents’ accounts and to illustrate events through cartoon, artists’ impressions, and photographs. Newspapers sought not only to convey knowledge, but also to influence public opinion – to the extent that several political historians argue that the jingoism unleashed by war reporting meant the general election of 1900 (the so-called ‘Khaki’ election) could conceivably be described as a referendum on foreign policy. We know the Conservatives and Unionists won. However, we also know from a variety of contemporary accounts that the press was only one factor in the creation of patriotic fervour in response to the war (especially around the reliefs of sieges at Mafeking, Kimberley and Ladysmith). These accounts cite the music halls, theatres, fairgrounds, ethnographic exhibitions, battle re-enactments, early film screenings – and other arenas for mass spectacle and entertainment – as crucial to the promotion of collective patriotism. By undertaking a tour of London’s performance venues and assessing collective engagement with an array of performance genres, indoors and out, this paper tests out the interrelated arguments that (a) the immersive experience of performance culture merits analysis as a vital genre of broadcasting and (b) that the performance of war news had a significant influence on public opinion and thus played a role in fomenting crude nationalism.

Peter Yeandle is Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Loughborough. He has published on the politics of history teaching, hero culture, graphic advertising, pantomime, music-hall ballet, Victorian animal histories, and other Victorian popular entertainments. With Professor Kate Newey and Professor Jeffrey Richards, he is editor of Politics, Performance and Popular Culture: theatre and society in nineteenth-century Britain (MUP, 2016).