Social Discourse in the Savoy Theatre's Productions of The Nautch Girl (1891) and Utopia Limited (1893): Exoticism and Victorian Self-Reflection
Description: As a consequence to Gilbert and Sullivan's famed Carpet Quarrel, two operettas with decidedly "exotic" themes, The Nautch Girl; or, The Rajah of Chutneypore, and Utopia Limited; or, The Flowers of Progress were presented to London audiences. Neither has been accepted as part of the larger Savoy canon. This thesis considers the conspicuous business atmosphere of their originally performed contexts to understand why this situation arose. Critical social theory makes it possible to read the two documents as overt reflections on British imperialism. Examined more closely, however, the operettas reveal a great deal more about the highly introverted nature of exotic representation and the ambiguous dialogue between race and class hierarchies in late nineteenth-century British society.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Hicks, William L.