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Theatre and the English Public from Reformation to Revolution

  • Date Published: November 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316632666


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About the Authors
  • This book presents new and overarching perspectives on the relationship between theatre and public from the Henrician Reformation through the interregnum to the Restoration, combining vivid case studies with discussion of theatre's continued importance in shaping the early modern public. Considered from the vantage point of theatre, the early modern public becomes visible as an unruly agent of political change, a force that authorities both feared and appealed to, and one that proved ultimately beyond control. It was through theatrical strategies that rulers and their opposition addressed the early modern public, and in turn it was theatre's public potential that shaped the development of the stage during the revolutionary years of the seventeenth century. In this volume, Katrin Beushausen examines sources including irreverent satirical pamphlets, regal spectacles, anti-theatrical polemic and visions of state theatres, casting new light on the development of the early modern public and theatre.

    • Sheds new light on the English Civil War and Commonwealth period, discussing theatre under prohibition and filling in important blanks in the history of the English stage
    • Provides fresh insights into the literary and theatrical culture of the Interregnum, using theatre studies methodology to interpret numerous primary sources and case studies
    • Charts the impact of theatre on the early modern public under different regimes from the early sixteenth century to the late seventeenth century
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… this well-written book is a [must-read] to anyone interested in early modern theatricality, the English public, the Interregnum and their interactions.' Sonja Kleij, English

    '… the arguments at the heart of Theatre and the English Public are convincing, and the book as a whole successfully reframes debates about the relationship between theater and its publics.' Gavin Hollis, Renaissance Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316632666
    • length: 312 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Prologue: theatre, theatricality and the public in early modern England
    1. Styles of the stage: addressing the public in the post-reformation period
    2. From audience to public: theatre, theatricality and the people before the Civil Wars
    3. Public performances: strategies of theatricality during the interregnum
    4. Playing with prohibition: discourses of theatre during the interregnum
    Epilogue: theatre and the English public beyond the Restoration.

  • Author

    Katrin Beushausen, Freie Universität Berlin
    Katrin Beushausen is an independent historian and theatre scholar, and an affiliate of the Freie Universität Berlin, where she has taught on theatricality, political performance and theatrical publics. Parallel to her academic career, she works as a political campaigner and explores the relation between theatre and the public through site-specific performance projects in the public sphere.

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