Slide 1 - Brad Arsenaux

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					The Naughty Rich: England’s
    Restoration Theatre
          Chapter 8
End of English Renaissance
         Theatre
•Playwrights after Shakespeare not as
prolific or well written; quality declines

•Puritan/Royalist quarrel leads to
English Civil War in 1642.
 End of English Renaissance
          Theatre
•Puritans close the theatre; a few
companies attempt to have clandestine
productions but are stopped by Puritans in
control of the government.

•Popular support for the puritan cause
declines after death of their leader Oliver
Cromwell in 1655.
 End of English Renaissance
          Theatre
•In 1656, William Davenant, a former
writer of court masques, openly
produces the opera The Siege of
Rhodes in his own residence. This is
the first opera ever performed in
England.
         Restoration Theatre
•In 1660, Parliament invited the ruler Charles II
to return from exile in France to assume the
throne.

•Charles II issued royal permits known as
“patents” to William Davenant and Thomas
Killebrew to open theatres.

•First of the new theatres were converted
tennis courts.
 Theatre Royal in Drury Lane
 constructed in 1674 by Sir Christopher
 Wren, this is one of the oldest theatres
still in existence as a functioning theatre
today. It is also said to be on of the most
        haunted theatres in the world.
           Comedy of Manners

• another name for Restoration Comedy, it was
  both witty and raunchy, providing us with an
  accurate snapshot of life among the nobility after
  the Restoration of the King.
• Plots were amoral to the extreme: sexual
  conquests, marriage for gain (financial or social)
  & characters that nothing shocked.
• Fast and clever verbal exchanges
• Tended to be stereotypes similar to Moliere &
  the commedia dell arte.
                 Fop:
• A common character in Restoration
  comedy. The fop is a vain young man who
  tries to be feminine in an attempt to
  seduce women.
Old School   Modern Day
          Restoration Stage

• Shape of the theatre today was
  determined at this period.

• Thrust stage replaced by the proscenium
  stage. Copying France and Italy.

• Proscenium stage promoted use of wing &
  drop scenery unlike previous era.
           Restoration Stage

• Scenery of a stock nature: one set for
  tragedy and another for comedy.

• Raked stage, acting area used was the
  apron area reached through doors built
  into the proscenium arch.
           Restoration Stage

• Space beyond the proscenium used
  strictly for scenic background.

• Footlights added to the apron for
  illumination.

• Auditorium lit by large chandeliers.
            Restoration Stage

• The “pit” and “yard” of Elizabethan Theatre
  replaced by raked rows of seats.

• Sides and rear boxes became preferred seating
  for the wealthy.

• Seating became more defined to reflect rigid
  class structures.

• Female roles now being played by women.

				
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