Male Impersonation in the Music Hall, The Case of Vesta Tilley

Aston, Elaine (1988) Male Impersonation in the Music Hall, The Case of Vesta Tilley. New Theatre Quarterly, 4 (15). pp. 247-257. ISSN 0266-464X

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Abstract

Music hall has only recently been treated to ‘serious’ as distinct from anecdotal study, and the ‘turns’ of its leading performers remain largely unexplored. Particularly revealing, perhaps, are the acts of the male impersonators – whose ancestry in ‘legit’ performance had been a long one, yet whose particular approach to cross-dressing had a special social and sexual significance during the ascendancy of music hall, with its curious mixture of working-class directness, commercial knowingness, and ‘pre-Freudian innocence’. The most successful of the male impersonators was Vesta Tilley, whose various disguises, the nature of their hidden appeal, and the ‘messages’ they delivered are here analyzed by Elaine Aston.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
New Theatre Quarterly
Additional Information:
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=NTQ The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, New Theatre Quarterly, 4 (15), pp 247-257 1988, © 1988 Cambridge University Press.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/libraryofcongress/n1
Subjects:
ID Code:
54725
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
30 May 2012 10:06
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
30 Oct 2020 01:48