The National Drama
An extract from Barbara Bell’s article, ‘The National Drama’, published in Theatre Research International, Volume 17, Issue 2, Summer 1992, pages 96-108, and published online by Cambridge University Press in 2009, describes it as:
In A History of Scottish Theatre, edited by Bill Findlay, 1998, Barbara Bell states in Chapter Three, ‘The Nineteenth Century’, page 143:
The progress of the National Drama can be viewed in four periods:
1. 1800-1817 The restricted eighteenth-century repertoire was repeated with slight variations in the form of the works of Joanna Baillie and adaptations of poems such as Scott’s The Lady of the Lake.
2. 1817-1835 The first wave of popularity of adaptations of Scott’s Waverley Novels brought about a huge upsurge in the writing and performance of national plays.
3. 1835-1860 The National Drama established a unique niche in the Scottish theatre. Around 1850 the major theatres began to restrict and specialise their use of the National Drama.
4. 1860-1900 A split appeared in the kind of treatment accorded the National Drama in the major theatres as against on the popular stage.