Amber Lane Press

THOMAS WILLIAM ROBERTSON (1829-71) was born into a theatrical family, the eldest of twenty-two children. His father was an actor and manager of the Lincoln circuit and when very young Robertson acquired valuable experience in all aspects of stagecraft, from acting and writing to stage-managing and scene-painting.

His first major success as a playwright came with David Garrick in 1864, but it was Society that marked him out as a pioneer with his introduction of naturalism into the drama not previously seen in the theatre. In The Vicarage a cup of tea was made on stage for the first time. This created quite a stir and led to Robertson’s plays being referred to as ‘cup and saucer’ drama, characterised by their realistic portrayal of everyday domesticity. But they were not superficial - they dealt with the issues of the day seriously and sensitively.

Robertson’s success was due in part to Squire Bancroft and his wife, the actress Marie Wilton, who alone were prepared to stage his 'revolutionary' work when no established company would touch him. The Bancrofts had acquired the Scala theatre, known at the time as the ‘Dust Hole’. Renamed the Prince of Wales it became one of the most fashionable theatres in London and several of Robertson’s best comedies were presented there, bringing him critical acclaim and financial stability.

Six Plays - Society / Ours / Caste / Progress / School / Birth by Thomas W. Robertson publisher Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9780906399163
Hardback, 324 pages

£14.95 £13.45
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ISBN: 9780906399170
Paperback, 324 pages
£10.99 £9.99
Buy now!


Thomas W. Robertson
Six Plays - Society / Ours / Caste / Progress / School / Birth

Six important plays written between 1865 and 1870 by one of the most successful playwrights of the age. They represent the peak of Robertson’s achievements during this short but prolific period of his life and remain of enormous significance in the development of English drama in the 19th century. They are of lasting value – Caste in particular still holds the stage and is the outstanding example of Robertson's innovative realism in the presentation of domestic detail. But the others would also revive well.

With an Introduction by Michael R. Booth, Professor of Theatre Studies, University of Warwick.




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