Edmund Kean’s Celebrity: Assemblage Theory and the Unintended Consequences of Audience Density

Version
1
Resource Type
Text : Journal article
Creator
  • Worrall, David
Collective Title
  • Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung. Supplement
    No. 32 (2019)
Publication Date
2019-12
Embargo End Date
2020-06-04
Publication Place
Cologne
Contributor
  • GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften (Editor)
Publisher
  • GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Language
English
Free Keywords
Theatrical Assemblage; Assemblage Theory; Manuel DeLanda; Theatre; Edmund Kean; Gendered salary; Theatre financial accounts
Description
  • Abstract

    This essay will examine theatrical celebrity in early 19th-century England with particular reference to the actor Edmund Kean (1787-1833) and his first season at Drury Lane, 1813-14. His ground-breaking interpretation of Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice brought him overnight success. Using Manuel DeLanda’s assemblage theory as its main predictive model, the essay argues that celebrity is a category conferred by audience density. Archival records of Drury Lane’s financial receipts, pay rates for actors and actresses, and names of individual occupants of box seats (including the novelist, Jane Austen) all provide sets of economic data which can chart financial aspects of celebrity. In short, in that first season Kean was only a middle to upper ranking employee as far as his remuneration was concerned. Furthermore, due to an over-extended season to capitalize on his celebrity, Drury Lane’s receipts were 8% down on the previous year.
  • Series Information

    Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung. Supplement No. 32 (2019): Celebrity’s Histories: Case Studies and Critical Perspectives.

    Starting Point and Frequency: Year: 1988, Issues per volume: 1, Volumes per year: 1

Availability
Delivery
A print version is available
Rights
CC BY 4.0
Relations
  • Is part of
    ISSN: 0936-6784
  • Is part of
    URL: https://www.gesis.org/en/hsr/current-issues/2019/suppl-32-celebritys-histories
  • Is identical to
    URL: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=16&sid=b3f9f352-4b1b-4091-9f4f-fc3149be0ecf%40pdc-v-sessmgr04&bdata=Jmxhbmc9ZGUmc2l0ZT1lZHMtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=140212418&db=edo

Update Metadata: 2020-02-18 | Issue Number: 4 | Registration Date: 2019-12-10