Court and Alley Concerts

Below is the abstract from Jill A. Sullivan, ‘Aint You Coming to Our Concert Tonight?’:  The Court and Alley Concerts of Late-Victorian Britain, July 2010 Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film 37 (1): 45-55.


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Initiated in Liverpool in 1897, ‘court and alley concerts’ became an established summer feature in many urban centres prior to the First World War. Staged under the auspices of local philanthropic and religious societies, the systematic visits of singers (with awkwardly transported piano accompaniment) provided a regulated cultural event according to middle class ideals and charitable intent. In addressing a range of reports, this paper then examines the opportunities, ideologies and potential interpretations of the court and alley concerts, shedding new light on an alternative site of performance conditioned by philanthropy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.



George Fairfull-Smith, March 2022.