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Look Inside The Human Stage

The Human Stage
English Theatre Design, 1567–1640


  • Date Published: June 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521109451

£ 24.99

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About the Authors
  • This book describes the theatres of the time of Shakespeare and Ben Jonson in the light of the contemporary architectural thought and building design. John Orrell incorporates recent discoveries about the structure of theatres such as the Red Lion playhouse (1567), the Christ Church Theatre, Oxford (1605) and the Paved Court Theatre, Somerset House (1632) in a re-examination of old assumptions about their design and origins. Orrell shows that the first public theatres, exemplified by the Globe on the Bankside, were fully realised architectural ideas, not ad hoc improvisations. Indoor playhouses, such as the Blackfriars and the Cockpit, Drury Lane, show clear signs of having been influenced by the theatre scheme of Sebastiano Serlio, a scheme which is human in scale, methodical in development and Roman in plan. Serlio's scheme is identified as a common link between the great public theatres of Shakespeare's time, the major private theatres and the Court masques designed by Inigo Jones. The story of the early stages is thus more coherent and more interesting than has been supposed. The book is extensively illustrated with contemporary views of London, theatre plans and scene designs.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521109451
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Festive Theatres:
    1. Goodly theatres
    2. The festive tradition
    3. Goodly devices: emblematic design
    4. The stage cover
    5. John Norden's pictures of the theatres
    6. This majestical roof
    7. The Elizabethan Banqueting House, Whitehall
    Part II. Serlian Theatres:
    8. The Christ Church theatre
    9. Serlio's theatre plan
    10. This goodly frame: the public theatres
    11. The Court theatres
    12. The private theatres
    Part III. Serlian Scenes:
    13. Serlio's measurable scene designs
    14. Inigo Jones's scene designs
    Appendix: Serlio's virtual field of vision

  • Author

    John Orrell

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