Oxford Shakespeare Topics provides students, teachers, and interested readers with short books on important aspects of Shakespeare criticism and scholarship. Each book is written by an authority in its field, and combines accessible style with original discussion of its subject. Notes and a critical guide to further reading equip the interested reader with the means to broaden research. By bringing together evidence from different sourcesDSdocumentary, archaeological, and the play-texts themselvesDSStaging in Shakespeare's Theatres reconstructs the ways in which the plays were originally staged in the theatres of Shakespeare's own time, and shows how the physical possibilities and limitations of these theatres affected both the writing and the performances. The book explains the conditions under which the early playwrights and players worked, their preparation of the plays for the stage, and their rehearsal practices.
It looks at the quality of evidence supplied by the surviving play-texts, and the extent to which audiences of the time differed from modern audiences; and it gives vivid examples of how Elizabethan actors made use of gestures, costumes, props, and the theatre's specific design features. Stage movement is analysed through a careful study of how exits and entrances worked on such stages. The final chapter offers a thorough examination of Hamlet as a text for performance, excitingly returning the play to its original staging at the Globe.