Entertainment in the Victorian Era
By Sophia Rekeibe
Though it was the Victorian Era, people still enjoyed Shakespearian plays. Actually, many big name directors and actors were discovered playing roles in his plays. Aside from Shakespearian plays, some popular legitimate plays, or serious plays, were actually dramatizations of novels. An example of one is Charles Dickens' novel "Bleak House". In the legitimate play world, there were two popular types
- Melodrama - a dramatic piece with the use of both musical numbers accompanied with action. It is current no longer used since movies came into the picture
- Pantomime – Usually a play with traditional tales and songs, popular for children. It is known for is over use and indication of hand gestures.
People wanted more group activities that involved working together. Half way through the 19th century, public schools were adopting sports into their school that involved teamwork. For example, rowing, cricket, rugby, track, and much more. In the second half of the century, many championships and competitions for sports were being established such as British Open golf championships and Country Cricket Association.
Not everyone could pay for someone for his or her own personal entertainment, especially for the middle-lower class. People had to use their imagination to make their own entertainment. For children, they would use simple to more “complex” toys. Of course, your social standard affected the quality of toys you acquired, but that didn’t seem to make a difference in the joy children got out of it. Here are some examples of the difference in toy quality from rich to poor
- Poor children would them out clay to play with
- Rich children would have them actually made of really marble
. Victorian dolls
- Poor children usually had them hand-made since they were expensive
- Rich children could easily afford a porcelain China dolls
. Leather Football
- Poor children could easily make their own
- Rich children could own a fancy professionally made ball
Yet they may seem to have different toys, children in general loved the same toys. Most of them seem to take after the things their parents did, such as tea sets, toy theatres, and Victorian dolls.
Artstein, Walter L, Christian Bashford, and Nicholas Temperly. "Victorian Entertainment: We are Amused." Victorian Entertainments: “We Are Amused” An Exhibit Illustrating Victorian Entertainment. N.p., 20 Apr. 2007. Web. 15 Mar. 2015. <http://www.library.illinois.edu/rbx/exhibitions/Victorian%20Entertainments/home/home.html>.
Chance, Abigal. "Victorian London Theater: Dickens on the Right to Amusement for the Working Class." The Victorian Web. N.p., 2010. Web. 17 Mar. 2015. <http://www.victorianweb.org/mt/chance.html>.
Price, Paxton. "Victorian Toys and Victorian Games." Victorian Children. N.p., 22 Aug. 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2015. <http://www.victorianchildren.org/victorian-toys-and-victorian-games/>.
These were what some theatres looked like in the Victorian Era. If you look closely, at the top of the picture, you can see where the middle-lower class sat and watched the show
People would gather around to sing choral music together.