Will Tosh, Playing Indoors: Staging Early Modern Drama in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London and New York: Bloomsbury (The Arden Shakespeare), 2019, pp. 264
Playing Indoors: Staging Early Modern Drama in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, by Will Tosh, Lecturer and Research Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe, is an account of the conceptualisation, research and early theatrical seasons of the indoor candlelit ‘Jacobean’ theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe. The book is in three parts, theatrically framed by a prologue and an epilogue, with wonderful colour plates showing architectural drawings and performance highlights. It is a powerful introductory panorama of the first few years of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, offering a pleasing insight to a general public and a useful point of departure for an academic readership. The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is an under-utilised area of written research, unlike the Globe’s main stage, and Tosh invites the reader to take up the questions he has raised for, although it is the first book dedicated to the new Playhouse, “it is certainly not the final word on the subject” (196). Hopefully Playing Indoors is a watershed moment, with more books to follow.
Keywords: Shakespeare’s Globe; Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; Jacobean indoor theatre; candlelight; historical reconstruction; stagecraft; audience response
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