Adapting Performance Between Stage and Screen (Book)

Adapting Performance Between Stage and Screen provides an introduction to adaptations between stage and screen. It argues that we need to see these adaptations as distinct from literary adaptation and explores how cultural values can be articulated in the act of translating between mediums.


Adapting Performance Between Stage and Screen provides an introduction to adaptations between theatre and film, establishing a framework for considering these as distinct from literary adaptation. The book places emphasis on performance and event, opening new avenues of exploration to include non-literary issues such as the treatment of space and place, mis en scène, acting styles and star personas. The recent growth of digital theatre is examined to foreground the 'events' of theatre and cinema (largely ignored in adaptation studies), with phenomena such as NT Live analysed for the different ways that 'liveness' is adapted.

Case studies of distinct periods in British film and theatre history are used to illustrate the principle that adaptations can't be divorced from the historical and cultural moment in which they are produced and to look at issues around theatrical naturalism and cinematic realism. Adapting Performance Between Stage and Screen explores how cultural values can be articulated in the act of translating between mediums. 

Victoria Lowe is a lecturer in drama and screen studies at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Her research interests include stage/screen adaptation, theatricality in the cinema, intermediality, screen acting and stardom and the voice in cinema.


Part One: Practices

Chapter 1: Stage to Screen Adaptation and Performance/Production: Space, Design, Acting, Sound

Chapter 2: Screen to Stage Adaptation: Theatre as Medium/Hyper-Medium

Chapter 3: Stage to Screen Adaptation and the Performance Event: Live Broadcast as Adaptation

Part Two: Histories

Chapter 4: The Introduction of Sound and ‘Canned’ Theatre

Chapter 5: The British New Wave on Stage and Screen

Chapter 6: Staging ‘British Cinema’


The author offers very good readings and analysis of a wide range of texts from well-known classics to more obscure works, spanning the popular, the populist and the avant-garde. It is thrilling to read a book that can discuss Steven Spielberg or Alfred Hitchcock in one place and Robert Lepage or Ivo van Hove in another ... It is an exciting volume that plugs an important gap in current cross-media scholarship.

Richard Hand, Professor of Media Practice at the University of East Anglia and Editor of the Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance

This book offers an original analysis which emphasizes performance and event (rather than literary texts) as the basis for analyzing different examples of adaptation. In terms of case studies, it offers interesting and worthwhile insights into some quite familiar material but also takes on relatively new examples of the exchange between theatre and film in its discussion of live-casting and the recent dominance of staged films in British theatre … an excellent account of an important topic.

Christine Geraghty, Professor of Film and Television, University of Glasgow,
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