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Victorian touring actressesCrossing boundaries and negotiating the cultural landscape$
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Janice Norwood

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526133328

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526133335

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Long-distance colonial touring

Long-distance colonial touring

(p.153) 5 Long-distance colonial touring
Victorian touring actresses

Janice Norwood

Manchester University Press

In Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania the limited size of the recently established theatrical industry created particular challenges and pressures for some of the intrepid nineteenth-century British actresses seeking to find work on its stages. This chapter reveals the practical reality of long-distance travel and the potential financial profit derived from colonial touring by juxtaposing the case-histories of Louisa Cleveland and Emily Don. Both women undertook tours of Australasia in the 1860s, initially performing with their actor husbands, but returned to the UK as widows. The chapter assesses the reception of different dramatic repertoires and the success of strategies adopted by women to counter the widespread professional rivalries and monopolistic practice that characterised the Victorian colonial stage.

Keywords:   touring, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, theatre, travel, repertoire, profit, actress

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