Tudor and Stuart Scenography

Authored by: Andrew Gurr

The Routledge Companion to Scenography

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138917804
eBook ISBN: 9781315688817
Adobe ISBN:


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The concept of the “bare stage” for the Shakespearean period is a cliché that needs cautious handling. If, in Shakespeare’s own time, the repertoire of plays had to be changed every day, as Henslowe’s Diary shows was the case at least from 1592–1597, there could never have been enough time to make radical changes to the background setting for each scene. With that in mind, we have become used to thinking of the Shakespearean stage as essentially bare wood, colored only by the bright costumes of the players, and perhaps some paint on the timbers. The few references to either stage properties or “scenes” are assumed to have appeared on an otherwise vacant stage, like that on which the friend of Johannes De Witt portrayed his image of a play at the Swan in 1595.

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