Tag Archives: Original staging conditions
Grays Inn today

Where did they (perform) The Comedy of Errors

We have only two records of a performance of The Comedy of Errors during Shakespeare’s working life the first was at the Gray’s Inn a treat perhaps for the barristers there which formed part of their Christmas revels.  What is interesting is how this highlights the transferable nature of Shakespeare’s plays and how he wrote […]

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The Rose Theatre

How did they (create locations) in All’s Well That Ends Well

  All’s Well That Ends Well may seem like a simple enough play to stage. It is based upon exotic locations like The Tempest, and it does not require any elaborate representation of the outdoors like As You Like It or A Midsummer Night’s Dream might seem to. However you still need to create distinctive […]

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plenty of trees to 'borrow' for As You Like It

How did they (create a forest) in As You Like It

As you Like It is set partly in the court and partly in the forest of Arden or Ardennes (depending on who you listen to!) either way a forest then as now tends to have trees and dappled sunshine and leaves and other such things… The Forest of As You Like It has beauty and […]

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The acting style of the panther-mime villain is familiar to us even in cartoon.

How did they (act) in Richard III

Richard III is a play centrally concerned with acting. If you have seen the play recently you may remember this short scene in which Richard (Gloucester) asks his villainous right hand man Buckingham if he is ready to act his part GLOUCESTER Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy colour, Murder thy breath in […]

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The young Arthur who leaps to his death from the castle walls.

How did they (kill a boy) in King John

The text of King John calls for the young Arthur, attempting to escape imprisonment, to jump from the battlements to the stones below ending his short life. In today’s theatre this scene can be almost too real with the lights lowered at the crucial moment so we don’t quite see, but know all too well, […]

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Malvolio imprisoned beneath the stage

How did they (imprison Malvolio) in Twelfth Night

If you have seen the current RSC Twelfth Night, you will probably vividly remember poor Malvolio in his on stage prison. Although his dark cell was on the stage level the impression of it being in the basement was given by the other actors entering that space in an elevator from the gallery level.  When […]

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The Swan Theatre

How did they (charge for entrance) in Julius Caesar

  So you want to go and visit the theatre? Think it might be a bit pricy to get the best seats, willing to save money by sitting further away? Or even behind a pillar? It was relatively cheap to visit the theatre in Shakespeare’s time. The cheapest seats (which were not seats but standing […]

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Tudor horse and rider

How did they (Use horses) in Henry V

I must admit that that title is a bit of a trick. The opening prologue to Henry V talks about horses and invites us only to imagine them on stage. And let us, ciphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces work. Suppose within the girdle of these walls Are now confined two mighty […]

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The ghost goes down...

How did they (get a ghost onstage) in Hamlet

Think about what a ‘ghost’ means to you? It could be a child in a bed sheet dressed up for Halloween, it could be a sense or presence, a cold draft in an airless room, perhaps it is a human form but intangible and untouchable able to walk through walls or dissipate in all directions. […]

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