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Walter Hodges enjoys a unique reputation as both illustrator and scholar of the Renaissance theatre. This book consists of fifty of his drawings, with accompanying text, which together reconstruct the original staging of scenes from Shakespeare's plays. It offers imaginative solutions to the puzzling questions which surround those early performances at the large public and smaller private theatres. Hodges creates visual explanations for specific scenes and incidents in the plays, such as Cleopatra's monument, or the siege of Orleans. He shows different uses of the 'discovery space' and upper stage, the creative use of stage posts and trap doors and the employment of special effects. With the rebuilding of the Globe Theatre on Bankside scholars, actors and directors are confronting again the problems of staging which Shakespeare's theatre provokes. Walter Hodges' ingenious and practical solutions will appeal to students and theatregoers alike.Read more
- Book will sell partly on author's name: illustrator, graphic and theatre designer and freelance scholar: e.g. The Globe Restored (1939) Shakespeare's Theatre (1964) and Shakespeare's Second Globe (1973)
- Many of the drawings have already appeared in individual volumes of the New Cambridge Shakespeare; gathered together, with narrative, they create a complete picture of the Elizabethan stage
- Although best known in the UK, Hodges, because of his books, has earned a reputation in Japan and USA, where he has quite a following
Reviews & endorsements
'Walter Hodges has a unique blend of talents, seen at their best in this book. His long experience as a historian of the Globe and his rare devotion to the questions of visualising stage action in Shakespeare's plays have made a distinctive contribution to the New Cambridge series of editions of the plays. The book develops and extends the ideas suggested in his designs for those editions. They enhance many intriguing details about the early staging, while providing a distinctive overview of how the early stages worked.' Andrew Gurr
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- Date Published: December 2004
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521311700
- length: 196 pages
- dimensions: 246 x 187 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.357kg
- contains: 61 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The Malone tradition
2. Elements of the stage
3. Systems of presentation
4. The siege of the music room
5. Enter the whole army
6. The stage posts and their uses
7. Stage beds and other furniture
8. Special effects
9. Playing away: presentation in great halls
10. Drawing conclusions
11. Epilogue: a portrait from life.
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