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The Valuation of Popular Theatre Performances: The Forgotten Success Story of Ljungby horn
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5350-6916
2017 (English)In: Nordic Theatre Studies, ISSN 0904-6380, E-ISSN 2002-3898, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 6-27Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Albert Ranft started as an actor in touring theatre companies in the 1880’s, but soon became responsible for one of the most important groups. Twenty-five years later, he ran a big company with about 2500 employees, owned theatres in Stockholm and Gothen­burg as well as a couple of touring companies.

His repertoire was based on popular entertainment plays, revues, operettas, historical plays, contemporary dramas etc. Simultaneously, his companies could offer ‘highbrow’ and ‘lowbrow’ productions. Even the actors could, during just one week, work in differ­ent genres. The way of programing was for Ranft an art form by itself, and sometimes he even acted in and directed the plays.

In November 1893, at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg, he premiered a fairy tale play, and the staging was filled with spectacular effects. The play was, from the beginning, a stun­ning success with the production running for several hundred nights. Moreover, the pro­duction of Ljungby Hornbecame the ground stone for Ranft’s theatrical enterprise.

The article describes how this success was established through mediatization and its base on rural oral history. The performance is analyzed and discussed as a popular theatre production (McConachie, Price, Röttger, Schecter). The author proposes that a more inclusive definition of popular theatre should be used; one which also takes into account the productions that had commercial success. Popular theatre needs to be in­cluded in theatre history writing to enable a better understanding of how the theatre system has developed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 29, no 2, p. 6-27
Keywords [en]
Popular Theatre, Mediatization, Spectacular, Ranft, Historiography, Ljungby horn
National Category
Performing Art Studies
Research subject
Theatre Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-153724ISI: 000432658600002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-153724DiVA, id: diva2:1187776
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2013-1941Available from: 2018-03-05 Created: 2018-03-05 Last updated: 2018-06-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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