Drama in the Romantic period underwent radical changes affecting theatre performance, acting, and audience. Theatres were rebuilt and expanded to accommodate larger audiences, and consequently acting styles and the plays themselves evolved to meet the expectations of the new audiences. This book examines manifestations of change in acting, stage design, setting, and the new forms of drama. Actors exercised a persistent habit of stepping out of their roles, whether scripted or not. Burwick traces the radical shifts in acting style from Garrick to Kemble and Siddons, and to Kean and Macready, adding a new dimension to understanding the shift in cultural sensibility from early to later Romantic literature. Eye-witness accounts by theatre-goers and critics attending plays at the major playhouses of London, the provinces, and on the Continent are provided, allowing readers to identify with the experience of being in the theatre during this tumultuous period.

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