(Greek "theatron"), enjoys the distinction of two spellings: in British English, "theatre" and in American English, "theater". There is no technical distinction between the meanings of the two spellings, however most theatre artists prefer the English spelling because it creates a historical nod to the ancient Greek term theatron
. Some also use the American spelling to designate a theatre building and the English term to reference the art itself, as in the "art of theatre."
Theatre is that branch of the performing arts concerned with the creation of stories or narratives for (or with) an audience using combinations of acting, speech, gesture, music, dance, object manipulation, sound and spectacle — indeed, any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to standard narrative dialogue style, theatre takes such forms as opera, musicals, ballet, mime, kabuki, classical Indian dance, Chinese opera, mummers' plays, improvisation, story theater and pantomime.
is a tragedy
by William Shakespeare
, probably written between 1599 and 1601. Set in Denmark
, the play tells how Prince Hamlet
exacts revenge on his uncle for murdering the previous king, Hamlet's father. Hamlet's uncle has since stolen the throne and taken Hamlet's mother, the dead king's widow, as his wife. The play vividly charts the course of real and feigned madness—from overwhelming grief to seething rage—and explores themes of treachery, incest, and moral corruption. Despite much literary detective work, the exact year of writing remains in dispute. Three different early versions of the play survived, which are known as the First Quarto
, the Second Quarto
, and the First Folio
. Each has lines, and even scenes, that are missing from the others. Shakespeare probably based Hamlet
on an Indo-European
legend—preserved by a 13th-century chronicler, and retold by a 16th-century scholar—and a lost Elizabethan
play known today as the Ur-Hamlet
. The play's dramatic structure and Shakespeare's depth of characterisation mean that Hamlet
can be analysed and interpreted—and argued about—from many perspectives. Hamlet
is by far Shakespeare's longest play, and among the most powerful and influential tragedies in the English language. The title role was almost certainly created for Richard Burbage
, the leading tragedian of Shakespeare's time; in the four hundred years since, it has been played by the greatest actors, and sometimes actresses, of each successive age.
- ...that the audience of the Dorset Garden Theatre (pictured) in Restoration London found it fashionable and convenient to arrive by boat, thereby avoiding the crime-ridden area of Alsatia?
- ...that Takemoto Gidayū's contributions to the form of bunraku (Japanese puppet theatre) were so influential that all chanters (narrators) in bunraku are now called gidayū?
- ...that, before building the landmark Gandy Bridge, George Gandy was known for building a large successful theatre, originally derided as "Gandy's White Elephant"?
- Alastair Sim on stage and screen
- Ethel Barrymore on stage, screen and radio
- Lionel Barrymore on stage, screen and radio
- Bernard Lee on stage and screen
- Ian Carmichael on stage, screen and radio
- Carry On series on screen and stage
- David Niven on screen, stage, radio, record and in print
- George Formby on screen, stage, record and radio
- Hattie Jacques on stage, radio, screen and record
- John Barrymore on stage, screen and radio
- John Gielgud, roles and awards
- John Le Mesurier on stage, radio, screen and record
- Laurence Olivier on stage and screen
- Ralph Richardson, roles and awards
- Songs, sketches and monologues of Dan Leno
- List of Emma Stone performances
- Terry-Thomas on screen, radio, stage and record
- Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play
- Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play
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