Celebrity Actors and their Parts

Elaine McGirr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the interrelationship between celebrity actors and thier famous parts, both bodily and repertory, arguing that celebrity parts enable public intimacy by making the celebrity persona legible. By analysing the 'parts' of Nell Gwyn and Colley Cibber, from the roles they played on stage and off to the clothes they did -- and sometimes didn't -- wear, I argue that acting is not just an illusion of character, but rather the performance or drawing out of interiority. On stage, the perforative body is simultaenously the expression of and reason for the actor's celebrity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic Interiors
Subtitle of host publicationIntimacy and Celebrity in Eighteenth-Century Literary Culture
EditorsEmrys Jones, Victoria Joule
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Theatre History
  • Celebrity

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