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Is He a Dramatist? Or, Something Singular! Staging Dickensian Drama as Practice-Led Research

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emma Whipday



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Sage Publications Ltd., 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Charles Dickens is not usually remembered as a dramatist; in fact, the contemporary success of his subsequently neglected dramatic writing is predicated on the absence of the authorial persona that we now consider ‘Dickensian’. Drawing on findings from a practice-led research project, which staged Dickens’s burletta Is She His Wife? or, Something Singular!, this article examines what performing this play can tell us about Dickensian dramaturgy and nineteenth-century theatrical culture. Interrogating the role of practice-led research in the study of nineteenth-century drama, we suggest that this methodology allows contemporary scholars to look beyond Dickens’s contemporary significance as a canonised literary and heritage figure. Our historically informed production illuminates the ways in which Dickens used material properties, music, and performance strategies to stage-manage his own disappearing act as a playwright.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cox Jensen O, Robinson J, Whipday E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film

Year: 2017

Volume: 43

Issue: 2

Pages: 160-182

Print publication date: 01/11/2016

Online publication date: 16/05/2017

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Date deposited: 27/11/2018

ISSN (print): 1748-3727

ISSN (electronic): 2048-2906

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/1748372716687317


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