By Douglas M. MacDowell
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It will already be clear that I have deliberately not organized this material around particular authors. In the course of this volume a range of playwrights will be discussed – including Jonson, Brome, Shirley, Heywood, Nabbes, and Massinger – but all of them are consciously discussed as part of a wider context of networks, neighbourhoods, repertory, repertoire, and ensembles. 42 There is not necessarily a hierarchy of types of theatre advanced in this study; commercial theatre from the 1620s and 1630s proves an important evidence base for the discussions but equally resonant in many respects are amateur household plays performed in the regions.
100) The specific reference is to William Davenant’s and John Suckling’s contemporary plans to build a new theatre in Fleet Street. 7 The scheme fell through, but Brome pushes Davenant’s and Suckling’s extravagant aims even further by locating their project as a floating theatre on the Thames. He further allies it to another contemporary hot topic, the watermen’s company’s complaints about a recent influx of coaches and sedan chairs into the city. The watermen petitioned that this was taking away trade as well as contributing to 7 See Matthew Steggle, Wars of the Theatres: The Poetics of Personation in the Age of Jonson, English Literary Studies Monograph 75 (University of Victoria Press, 1998), pp.
The ways in which all these plays suggest modes of behaviour as well as reflecting them proves central to the argument. We close, then, with an active example of the way in which drama not only reflected and represented cultural geography, but made direct contributions to the public understanding and practice of the same. It will already be clear that I have deliberately not organized this material around particular authors. In the course of this volume a range of playwrights will be discussed – including Jonson, Brome, Shirley, Heywood, Nabbes, and Massinger – but all of them are consciously discussed as part of a wider context of networks, neighbourhoods, repertory, repertoire, and ensembles.