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Shakespeare's Two Playhouses
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Book description

In what ways did playwrights like Shakespeare respond to the two urban locations of the Globe and the Blackfriars? What was the effect of their different acoustic and visual experiences on actors and audiences? What did the labels 'public' for the Globe and 'private' for the Blackfriars, actually mean in practice? Sarah Dustagheer offers the first in-depth, comparative analysis of the performance conditions of the two sites. This engaging study examines how the social, urban, sensory and historical characteristics of these playhouses affected dramatists, audiences and actors. Each chapter provides new interpretations of seminal King's Men's works written as the company began to perform in both settings, including The Alchemist, The Tempest and Henry VIII. Presenting a rich and compelling account of the two early modern theatres, the book also suggests fresh insights into recent contemporary productions at Shakespeare's Globe, London and the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Reviews

'With its emphasis on the experience of playgoing in early modern London and its sensitivity to spatial dynamics, this is an exciting and eminently readable contribution to theatre history, which will go straight onto my students' reading lists.'

Pascale Aebischer - University of Exeter

'… the book as a whole offers a helpful introduction to the theatres of early modern London and how spaces are shaped, legitimized, disturbed and re-imagined by the art that authorizes them.'

Charlotte Scott Source: Shakespeare Survey

'Dustagheer’s book should prove valuable to those interested in how the history and former repertory of the Blackfriars impacted what the King’s Men produced for it, as well as those working on the influence of the Reformation on period playwrights. It will also benefit those interested in architectural and spatial comparisons between the two venues, given its sound history and informed speculations.'

Brett Gamboa Source: Renaissance Quarterly

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