This rare volume, The Siamese Theatre, will be of interest to scholars and collectors, as well as enthusiasts of the Thai performing arts.
It is a collection of 15 papers reprinted from the the Journal of the Siam Society (JSS) concerning the traditional theatre of Siam/Thailand. It was published under the editorship of Mattani Rutnin, who also contributed a dedication and a preface. The dedication is to H.H. Prince Dhaninivat (1885-1974), a grandson of Rama IV, civil servant, 3-time Regent of Thailand, and president of the Siam Society. Prince Dhanivat also wrote the introduction to this volume.
The 15 essays are divided into 4 sections: Classical Theatre, Folk theatre, Shadow Theatre, and Dramatic Literature and Folklore. Prince Dhanivat himself authored 5 of the papers. All the papers but one are in English. M. René Nicolas contributed an essay in French entitled Le Lakhon Nora ou Lakhon Chatri et les origines du théatre classique siamois.
Scholars and researchers interested in the Thai performing arts will be greatly interested in the 76-page bibliography on drama and the performing arts. It lists what are presumably all the known sources in both Thai and foreign languages.
Printed by the Sompong Press, Ltd, the book has 291 pages in total, of which 27 are plates with black and white illustrations. Further illustrations embellish other pages, as well.
The pages of the book have yellowed with time and the cover shows signs of wear and tear, but the binding is secure and the pages are entirely free of markings and marginalia.