Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: God Save the Queen in British Theaters
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0586  Thursday, 27 March 2003

[1]     From:   Ben Spiller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 24 Mar 2003 14:15:46 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0583 God Save the Queen in British Theaters

[2]     From:   John W. Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Monday, 24 Mar 2003 09:27:38 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0583 God Save the Queen in British Theaters

[3]     From:   Graham Hall <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Mar 2003 10:28:54 +0000
        Subj:   Gawrblessaht


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ben Spiller <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 24 Mar 2003 14:15:46 -0000
Subject: 14.0583 God Save the Queen in British Theaters
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0583 God Save the Queen in British Theaters

Dear Richard,

I cannot answer your questions directly, but I thought you might be
interested to know that the old theatrical warhorse, Agatha Christie's
"The Mousetrap" -- still going after fifty years in London -- begins
each performance with a recording of the National Anthem played over the
sound system. Trivia, I know, and not really all that helpful, but at
least it's interesting (maybe?!!)

All best,
Ben.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Kennedy <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Monday, 24 Mar 2003 09:27:38 -0500
Subject: 14.0583 God Save the Queen in British Theaters
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0583 God Save the Queen in British Theaters

>Can anyone tell me when the practice of singing God Save the Queen in
>British theaters began, what prompted the practice, and when it died out
>and why?

It appears to have begun at the a performance of "The Alchemist" at the
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on September 28, 1745, following the battle
of Prestonpans, including the verse:

    Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
    May by thy mighty aid,
       Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush
    And like a torrent rush,
    Rebellious Scots to crush,
       God save the King.

The custom is still in force at the Ohio Light Opera
(http://www.wooster.edu/OH_LT_OPERA/) when Gilbert and Sullivan are
being performed.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 25 Mar 2003 10:28:54 +0000
Subject:        Gawrblessaht

Richard Burt asks about the British National Anthem in theatres.

Began Drury Lane theatre in 1745 in response to the second Jacobean
("Bonnie Prince Charlie's") attempt on the (Hanoverian) monarchy and in
particular the outcome of the battle of Prestonpans. The practice,
although popular, was never universal - partly due to the anti-Scots (it
should have been anti-Jacobean) third verse. There is no authorized
version of the anthem. Normally the first verse only was sung. It was
taken up in other places of public entertainment. The cinema produced a
little film of Elizabeth II with the first few bars as accompaniment
post 1953. This was shown after the final film although by that time few
people actually sang but just stood up (and a significant number barged
their way out to catch the pubs before they closed). At its height
during the period of "Empire", it was dead as a practice by the 1960's.
It survived a little bit longer in am-dram ex-pat societies. Curiously,
it has been revived at sporting events as the English choice of
patriotic song (vs Irish, Scots, Welsh who sing their own songs). At
rugger matches, for example, it has replaced the English song of choice
which was a fine Negro spiritual.

"Rule Britannia" is more the popular choice when the individual
countries that comprise the United Kingdom, and are gathered together,
wish to exhibit the fact that they are British. This has now become an
almost hysterical feature of the "Proms". Many Britons still rise in
concert halls during part of Handel's Messiah - a practice initiated by
a Hanoverian king!

The preference and practice of the wiley is to sneak out to the bar
during all the above such occasions, as it is much easier to get a
drink.

It is interesting to consider these phenomena with the practice of
Shakespeare's post 1603 work and in particular Lear.

Best wishes,
Graham "Flower o' Scotland" Hall

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.