The Origins of the Potteries’ Victoria Theatre
The Origins of the Potteries’ Victoria Theatre by Society Chair, Dr Leslie Powner, is the first history of Stoke-on-Trent’s ground-breaking theatre. It reveals a fascinating tale that begins with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s wish to establish a Civic Theatre after the Second World War and developed into a much-loved local institution of seminal importance to the post-war development of British theatre. The Newcastle project was adopted by Stephen Joseph and Peter Cheeseman, who converted a disused cinema, the Victoria, where Cheeseman began to develop his innovative method of verbatim theatre in Britain’s first permanent theatre-in-the-round. The book traces the sometimes stormy relationship between Joseph and Cheeseman, as well as the theatre’s adaptations of Arnold Bennett’s work with the involvement of Bennett’s ‘common-law’ wife, Dorothy Cheston Bennett, whose equally turbulent relationship with the theatre added to those tensions.
Arnold Bennett Society 2017
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