Congreve’s “Love for Love” staged reading

For Congreve fans in the DC area, there will be a staged reading of Love for Love on Monday evening.  Sorry for the short notice but I only recently found out about it.  I have attended these before and they are excellent.




3 responses to “Congreve’s “Love for Love” staged reading

  1. Laura, is there any chance the reading can be digitally recorded and uploaded online for all to see? The Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds staged about 50 readings of eighteenth-century plays while it was being refurbished a few years ago, and they never made any digital recordings of any of them. The fact that these readings were staged at the surviving Regular Theatre (now known as The Georgian Theatre Royal) that opened in Richmond, Yorkshire, in 1788 means they could have been added as new evidence for researching 18th century play performance. We must try to ensure that all staged readings and performances are available online for scholars to download (at an appropriate cost). Tom Morris, the Artistic Director of Bristol’s Old Vic, digitally records ALL of his productions there, and it’s really time universities caught up with this new move (especially in light of what theatre scholars have called “Performance Practice,” as evidence, or what I prefer to call “Action Research”, in line with educational researchers who first used this as evidence back in the 1980s.) M

  2. Laura Rosenthal

    I looked into this, but it turns out that they are not able to record these readings, mostly because they don’t have the budget for it. I agree, though, that it’s unfortunate that they are not available. It would be especially useful to have available recordings of these plays from the period that hardly ever get produced. The University of Maryland’s performance library actually has an archive of productions in the DC area, but they can only be viewed in the library (not even in a classroom), I think for actor equity contract reasons.

    • This is something all eighteenth-century societies must look into. It’s time Equity negotiated an appropriate fee for its members so their names and e-recordings of scenes from their performances can be cited in academic e-works. I can see why Equity might object, but in fact they might be missing another opportunity for their members to earn small amounts of money. Most importantly, Equity can work with academics to improve the profile of their members in books on History. I cannot see why Equity might not negotiate a small, negotiated fee for University scholars who cite digital recordings of scenes from play performances as central to our work. I imagine professional performers might be very keen indeed for their work to be cited by academics because they, naturally, want their work to be recorded in as many publications as possible. Equity need to be imaginative in terms of the potential income this might create for their members. Equity have never, for example, objected to Bristol’s Old Vic sell selling a DVD of their outstanding 2004 performance of The Rivals (Heritage Theatre, 2005), which is available for sale from their Box Office.

      I urge everyone to buy this. (My only criticism is that Rachel Kavanaugh, the brilliant director, staged it behind a proscenium arch, which was then the only way its Trustees allowed performances to be staged. Since Andrzej Blonski Architects rebuilt a new 1766 stage front inside its auditorium and spectators, once more, sit on both sides of the stage as they did between 1766 and 1800, we can imagine how Kavanaugh’s brilliant “conversation” performance, could have worked with spectators on the sides of the stage floor.) Mark