John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, 1728-2004: adaptations and re-writings
When Richard Steele remarked that the greatest Evils in human Society are such as no Law can come at, he was not able to forsee the spectacular success of John Gay's satire of society, the administration of law and crime, politics, the Italian opera and other topics. Gay's The Beggar's Opera, with its mixture of witty dialogue and popular songs, was imitated by 18th century writers, criticized by those on the seats of power, but remained a favourite of the English theatre public ever since.
With N. Playfair's 1920 revival and B. Brecht's and K. Weill's 1928 Dreigroschenoper, Gay's play has been a starting-point for dramatists such as V. Havel (Zebrácká opera, 1975), W. Soyinka (Opera Wonyosi, 1977), Ch. Buarque (Ópera do Malandro, 1978), D. Fo (L'opera dello sghignazzo, 1981), A. Ayckbourn (A Chorus of Disapproval, 1984), as well as others such as Latouche, Hacks, Fassbinder, Dear, Wasserman, and Lepage.
Apart from contributions by international scholars analysing the above-named plays, the editors' introduction covers other dramatists that have payed hommage to Gay.
This interdisciplinary collection of essays is of particular interest for scholars working in the field of drama/theatre studies, the eighteenth century, contemporary drama, postcolonial studies, and politics and the stage.
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The Beggars Opera and its Criminal Law Context
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Account African audience author Ayckbourn Ayckbourn’s ballad ballad opera Beggar’s Opera Beggars Bertolt Brecht Bettleroper Bow-Street Opera brasilianischen bürgerlichen Century character Chico Buarque Chorus of Disapproval Cock-eyed Jack crime criminal Dafydd Dario death Drama Dreigroschenoper Eighteenth Eighteenth-Century Ende England English Fielding first Gay’s play Gay’s The Beggar’s Gays Gesellschaft give good great Henry Fielding History Ibid italienischen Jack Sheppard Jenny Jeyifo John Fielding John Gay John Gay’s John Wilkes Jonathan Swift Jonathan Wild Justice Kritik L’opera dello sghignazzo life Literature Lockit London love Lucy Macheath make Moral music Newgate Newgate Calendar Old Bailey Oper Ópera do Malandro Opera Wonyosi Oxford Peachum people performance plays political politischen Polly prison Publikum Rewriting Robert Walpole Satire scene second seems Sheppard social society song Soyinka’s stage Stück take Text Theater time trial University Press Václav Havel version William Wole Soyinka women work world years Zuschauer