A knowledgeable audience accustomed to attending the sort of theatre that still characterises London’s Shaftesbury Avenue today would probably recognise it as, in many ways, a perpetuation of the kind of theatre in which Vanbrugh and Farquhar’s plays were produced on the edge of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. However, an audience magically transported from an original performance of, say, The Relapse to a contemporary revival would face far greater difficulties in establishing the connection. For, although much of the essential structure of the auditorium and performance area might appear related, virtually everything that takes place in a modern theatre — from the style of, and the technical aids to, performance to the constituency and behaviour of the audience — would be quite alien.
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- 1.On this, see Richard Southern, ‘Theatres and Scenery’, in The Revels History of Drama in English: Volume V 1660–1750 (London: Methuen, 1976), pp. 83–118.Google Scholar
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