Restoration Staging 1660–74 cuts through prevalent ideas of Restoration theatre and drama to read early plays in their original theatrical contexts.
Tim Keenan argues that Restoration play texts contain far more information about their own performance than previously imagined. Focusing on specific productions and physical staging at the three theatres operating in the first years of the Restoration – Vere Street, Bridges Street and Lincoln’s Inn Fields – Keenan analyses stage directions, scene headings and other performance clues embedded in the play-texts themselves. These close readings shed new light on staging practices of the period, building a radical new model of early Restoration staging.
Restoration Staging, 1660–74 takes account of all extant new plays written for or premiered at three of London’s early theatres, presenting a much-needed reassessment of early Restoration drama.
"This volume is an important contribution to the study of early Restoration theater. It opens up a relatively stagnant area of research and inspires its readers by raising as yet unanswered questions. Understanding the necessities and limitations for staging a play in this period makes it easier to visualize the play’s performance based on the play text itself. For both literary and performance scholars, Keenan’s volume will be an invaluable tool."
- Rena Bood, Universiteit van Amsterdam
"Keenan’s conclusions are valuable, both in terms of his findings and of the methodology he has adopted, and are a strong contribution to a field that has sadly become stagnant in recent years."
- Juan A. Prieto Pablos, Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research
"Bringing scientific clarity to questions that have puzzled previous scholars, tim Keenan has written a study that everyone seriously interested in the structure and capability of early Restoration playhouses should read."
- David Roberts, Theatre Notebook
List of figures
List of tables
Theatrical terms and definitions
1. Interpreting Restoration Drama: some facts and fictions
2. Visualising Restoration Staging
3. Modelling the Lincoln’s Inn Fields stage
4. Testing the Model 1: Analysing the Plays, 1661–74
5. Testing the Model 2: Exceptional Staging Demand
6. Applying the model: cracking the codes
7. Developing a scenic dramaturgy
8. Conclusion: the plays and the model