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Acting Spaces and Carpenters' Tools: from the Fortune to the Theatre Royal, Bristol

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 May 2009

Abstract

Against the received wisdom, Mark Howell-Meri argues here for a continuing tradition between Elizabethan and Restoration (or ‘long eighteenth-century’) playhouses. He bases his argument in part on measurements which suggest the common use of traditional building methods and relationships between measurements and spaces based on ad-quadratum geometry, as shared by theatre builders across the centuries; but also on his own experience as a performance-practitioner specializing in an historiographical approach to making sense of eighteenth-century plays for today's audiences in surviving (or reconstructed) eighteenth-century spaces. He was the first director to restore a three-sided stage front to the Georgian Theatre (now Theatre Royal) in Richmond, Yorkshire, in 1987 with his hit production of Garrick's Miss in her Teens (1747), and other research productions have included Robert Dodsley's The King and the Miller of Mansfield (1737), Colman the Younger's Inkle and Yarico (1787), Inchbald's The Midnight Hour (1787), again at the Georgian Theatre in Richmond, and Lillo's The London Merchant (1731). He is now completing his doctoral thesis, ‘Theatre and Liberty: Eighteenth-Century Play Production on the Three-Sided Stage’.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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