chapter  7
30 Pages

P.G. Wodehouse and the American Musical Comedy

Innovations in Writing
WithBasil Considine

The British author, poet and playwright Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881–1975) spent many of his most productive years writing for the theatre. Although better remembered today for the countless novels, short stories and plays that flowed from his pen, Wodehouse also contributed to 46 operettas and musical comedies – many of them record-setting Broadway hits. 1 He wrote for major theatres and producers, working with an illustrious list of collaborators that included Jerome Kern, Guy Bolton, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter and many others. This vast body of work was hugely influential on the development of the musical theatre genre and on Wodehouse’s own literary writing – contributions that still have yet to be broadly acknowledged or understood.