Patience at the Savoy

Part of the Palgrave Studies in British Musical Theatre book series (PSBMT)


In this chapter Goron focuses on a comprehensive investigation of the material factors surrounding a performance of Patience at the Savoy Theatre in 1882. The device of a notional ‘evening at the Savoy’, featuring a visit by a typical suburban family group, is used to identify various locational, architectural, decorative and discourse-related elements related to attending Carte’s state of-the-art auditorium.

Goron considers the significance of the pioneering use of electric lighting at the Savoy in terms of its ability to emphasise the visibility of class difference within the auditorium and its contribution to the enhanced ‘cultural capital’ implicit in attending a ‘modern’ theatre event in the late-Victorian West End. Links between electrification and Victorian notions of hygiene and social class are established to present an innovative argument concerning the cultural significance of theatrical electric lighting.


Audience Member Daily News Electric Lighting Incandescent Bulb Theatre Staff 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southampton Solent UniversitySouthamptonUK
  2. 2.University of WinchesterWinchesterUK

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