Culture, capital and the state, select committee on licensing and regulating theatres and places of public entertainment

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Powell, Rebekah Louise
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British society experienced a transition from a rural agricultural community to that of the industrial urban setting during the Victorian period. In the process the notions of time and space were adjusted to fit new urban realities. Leisure underwent similar transformations with the creation of new forms and functions of leisure. The transition was not smooth but represented negotiations within the classes and across class lines that determined the type of leisure to be offered and who would control its production. The Select Committee on Theatrical Licensing provided a forum for the discussion of culture, its protection and production by two of the emerging commercialised leisure industries, the theatre and the music hall. While concentrating on theatre and music hall and subsequently culture, the influence of capital will not be neglected. The role of the state with regard to leisure demands attention as it underwent a transition from suppression to provision. Culture, capital and the state will be addressed within the context of the rivalry between music halls and theatre as it unfolded before the Select Committee on Theatrical Licensing of 1866.