The Tempest; or, The Enchanted Island (staging)

by William Davenant & John Dryden (November 1667; pub.1670)

This play has generated much comment from a range of critics, and been much confused with a later operatic version in the process, but what has not been widely recognised is just how superbly crafted for the theatre it is. Economical and precise, Davenant and Dryden exploit the LIF resources so that the staging becomes a physical embodiment of the play’s themes. Viewed from this perspective, the much-abused symmetries in the plot are complemented by a lucid, oppositional staging that reveals the play as a machine to anatomize 17th century ideas of the ‘natural man’.

Oppositional symmetry runs through the stage directions. A prime example of this is the terrifying of Alonzo’s shipwrecked party by Prospero’s spirits early in Act 2. First, the men hear a disembodied antiphon from each side of the stage – “A Dialogue within sung in parts” – that confronts the usurping duke – “Do you hear, Sir, how they lay our Crimes before us?” – then, “Enter the two that sung, in the shape of Devils, placing themselves at two corners of the Stage”.[1] Clearly the devils are on the corners of the forestage with Alonzo’s party in between, and judging by Antonio’s exclamation – “Sure Hell is open’d to devour us quick” – the men are probably backing away. The devils now summon more aid from behind the retreating men: “We’ll muster then their crimes on either side: Appear! appear! their first begotten, Pride. [Enter Pride”. Then alternately appear Fraud, Rapine, and Murther who then “fall into a round encompassing the Duke, &c. Singing”. After terrifying the men, “All the spirits vanish”.

The implied staging involved here exploits the whole stage space except for the relieve area. It could be argued that the spirits might enter alternately through four forestage doors, instead of through wing passageways as I propose. However, this solution limits the staging solely to the forestage and offends realism by leaving an obvious escape route through the scenic area. Not only does it lack the dynamism of a staging involving the whole stage area, it does not address the difficulty involved with the last stage direction: the requirement for the spirits to vanish. Speed is obviously of the essence here. There is very little evidence relating to trapdoors at LIF and it is unlikely that it had four that could accommodate the spirits’ vanishing. It is more likely that the spirits simply ran offstage; in which case running through the nearest wing passageways is far simpler than arranging for forestage doors to be opened and closed by stagehands at the correct time (‘spirits’ opening and closing doors themselves is hardly conducive to the effect required).

The implied action in this example emphasises symmetry. This emphasis occurs throughout the play, usually in the form of oppositional staging, to the extent that the text might be seen as an ideal advertisement for the two-door argument. Opposition is evident in exits and entrances. There are three instances of ‘the other door’ format and five instances where two characters or groups are directed to ‘enter/exit severally’; one of these even forms the stage picture: “Exeunt severally, looking discontentedly on one another”.[2] Furthermore, a passage near the end of Act 4 seems to make a virtue of forestage binary opposition. Earlier in the play the forestage doors were established as leading to different caves near Prospero’s cell. During Act 4 Hippolito is grievously wounded in a sword fight with his rival Ferdinand. The furious Prospero exercises his ducal powers and has condemned Ferdinand to die the next day. He obviously meets resistance to this judgement for he calls on supernatural assistance:

Do you refuse! help Ariel with your fellows
To drive ’em in; Alonzo and his Son bestow in
Yonder Cave, and here Gonzalo shall with
Antonio lodge.
[Spirits drive ’em in, as they are appointed.[3]

Of course, in both this passage and the one cited above other staging solutions are perfectly possible, but none it seems to me offers the same degree of visual coherence and congruence with the play’s themes. Scenically the implied staging is economical and straightforward. A seascape of some kind is an obvious requirement for 1.1. Shadwell’s later operatic version specifies, “a thick Cloudy Sky, a very Rocky Coast, and a tempestuous Sea in perpetual Agitation”.[4] The reference to “perpetual Agitation” suggests a wave machine may have been used at Dorset Garden and since the next scene in the play does not need a relieve setting this might also have been a possibility at LIF. However, the scenic relationship between the two versions is difficult to determine. The opera certainly suggests the type of scenery thought appropriate to the scene nearly seven years later, and Shadwell may be asking for embellished versions of existing scenery, but the question we need to ask is how appropriate to a straight play at the smaller LIF is a scene heading to an opera at Dorset Garden?  The answer is not necessarily appropriate at all. Restoration operas were usually lavish affairs with large budgets and spectacular effects, and illustration of the LIF production by reference to the opera is missing the point. It was the lavish novelty of the Dorset Garden opera that was the thrill for Restoration audiences. This is clear from a comment by the prompter John Downes: “The Tempest…made into an Opera by Mr. Shadwell, having all New in it; as Scenes, Machines; particularly one Scene Painted with Myriads of Ariel Spirits; and another flying away…all was things perform’d in it so Admirably well…”.[5]

Despite Davenant’s intimate connection with LIF (or perhaps because of it), there are only three scene headings in the play, only two of which are descriptive: “The Scene changes, and discovers Hippolito in a Cave walking, his face from the Audience” (2.5), “Scene changes, and discovers Prospero and Miranda”, “Scene, a Cave” (3.6).[6] In the dialogue Prospero also refers to his cell, but the terms are not differentiated in the text and there is no reason why the cave setting should not also serve as Prospero’s cell. In the three scenes with stated discoveries the dialogue strongly suggest that the cave setting is a relieve. In 2.4, a page before Hippolito is discovered walking in his cave, Prospero tells us that he has removed Hippolito from his usual lodging “And here have brought him home to my own Cell”.[7] In order for Hippolito to be discovered, the scenery showing prior to the discovery must, therefore, be a shutter representing the cell. Thus, two cave/cell settings are likely to have been available. The shutter may have been used with the palm tree wings suggested for the island setting to show the front of the cave, and the relieve would have its own rock wings to form a deep cave scene. This is the solution shown in the scenery plot. The full scenic requirement is only four settings: seascape (shutter or relieve), cave/cell (shutter and relieve), and the island. The various parts of the island may be represented by one setting.

The stated discoveries in the scene headings indicate the extent to which acting in the relieve area is implied by this play. The first (2.5) demonstrates that by the mid-late 1660s the relieve space was beginning to be seen as a viable acting area. Contrary to received opinion, when Hippolito is discovered in 2.5 he does not immediately advance onto the main stage.[8] In fact, the point of this scene is that two separate areas are being used; the upstage Hippolito is being observed and anatomised by Miranda and Dorinda downstage. The text directs: “Enter Miranda and Dorinda peeping”. The best position from which to satisfy this direction is from behind one of the forestage doors. A position in the scenic area from behind the wings is possible, of course, but not only does this reduce the dramatic potential inherent in a positioning that uses the full length of the stage, but it fails to exploit fully the dramatic potential in the direction for peeping. The direction to peep usually implies that it is important for the actors involved to be shown to be peeping; in effect it must be demonstrated to an audience. The physical attitude adopted signifies a secretive or illicit activity that enhances the drama of the scene. Of course, it would be possible to peep from behind a wing, but the demonstration would probably be clearer from behind a door on the brighter forestage.

Instead of immediately advancing from his position, Hippolito stays there ruminating and presumably ‘walking’, until 33 lines of dialogue later there is the direction: “Hip. Seeing her”. At this point Hippolito and Dorinda warily move to meet in the scenic area or upper forestage, perhaps circling each other before he “Takes her hand”. The pattern of this staging is inverted in the second discovery: “Scene changes, and discovers Prospero and Miranda”. Note that two scenic actions are implied here: the wings change from, say, palm trees to rock wings representing the cave/cell, and the island shutters withdraw to reveal the cave/cell relieve. In this scene instead of the impetuous Dorinda and the ‘natural man’ Hippolito, we see the more mature Miranda and the civilised Ferdinand, and this time the woman starts from the relieve area and the man from the forestage door. We know Ferdinand enters from the forestage, because by now he has become associated with a particular door that marks the entrance to his ‘cave’: earlier Prospero had split the pair saying to his daughter, “Go in that way…/ I’le separate you”, and to Ferdinand, “That Door/ Shews you your Lodging”.[9] Thus the staging in these matched discovery scenes wittily counterpoints the mirrored structure of the plot. In many of these play commentaries I bemoan the lack of scenic headings, with this play it is astonishing that out of 18 inferred scenes so much can be decoded from the three supplied headings.

 


[1] London: Herringman, 1670, p.16.
[2] Ibid. p.72.
[3] Ibid. p.70.
[4]London: Herringman, 1674, p.1.
[5] Roscius Anglicanus, pp.34-5.
[6] Op cit p.28, 44, 48.
[7] Ibid. p.26.
[8] See, for example, Styan: “An actor might be ‘discovered’ by opening such shutters, upon which he would come forward without breaking the flow of the action” (Restoration Comedy, p.27).
[9] Op cit p.46.

Tarugo’s Wiles (staging)

by Thomas St. Serfe (October 1667; pub.1668)

This play is essentially a ‘Spanish plot’ play – though lighter in tone than either The Adventures of Five Hours or Elvira – with a topical satire of London coffee-house denizens inserted as its third act. It is weaker dramatically than either of its predecessors and drew from Pepys a characteristic rebuff: “the most ridiculous, insipid play that ever I saw in my life”.[1] The first four acts are easily accommodated by the LIF model, with no more than three scenic locations being implied in any. This situation changes in Act 5, which, like parts of Elvira, is in need of simplification. Throughout the play, St. Serfe supplies some scene headings and numbers, but both are erratic. Using the usual method of designating a new scene after a cleared stage, we may infer no more than five scenes in any of the first four acts, but Act 5 records a frenzied 15 of which only two are stated. Although Pepys reports he could not see the play on October 5, “the house so full”, and that the King and the Duke of York attended on October 15, Downes lists it as a play that “Expir’d the third Day”.[2]

Whatever St. Serfe’s standing with LIF, it is unlikely that the scene keepers/theatre manager would have afforded this production the luxury of the three separate ‘street’ settings called for in Act 5: “Piatza”, “the corner of Toledo-street”, and “Sophrania’s back Gate”.[3] One setting would surely have served all. St. Serfe specifies two settings in Patricio’s house – Tarugo’s chamber (5.2 scene heading), and a hall (5.6 stage direction) – another, Lavinia’s chamber, is mentioned several times in dialogue. The way the play is structured suggests that these three locations would have been individuated scenically, but it is not a straightforward matter to allocate scenery. Act 5 blurs locations in a manner that seems confused compared even to Tuke or to the brief moments of spatial fluidity in Elvira and Mustapha that seem designed to facilitate the drama. The most appropriate fictional location for 5.1a (my subdivision, see scenery plot) is Tarugo’s chamber.

Horatio has been trapped in his rival’s house, if Patricio discovers him there will be a fight. Owing to convoluted circumstances, Horatio has had to spend the night (chastly) in Liviana’s rooms (Liviana is Patricio’s sister and Horatio’s intended bride). Early that morning, Horatio was able to sneak into Tarugo’s chamber, and in 5.1a he is conversing with his friend. Mid-scene, however, Liviana is directed to enter “above”. (This is another instance of an internal balcony, as seen in The Adventures of five Hours.)  Liviana warns the men that her brother is searching the house for a reported intruder. Tarugo tells Horatio, “Get upon my bed” and “counterfeit a sound sleep”[4]. Horatio exits (fictionally to the bed) and the audience hears the offstage Patricio instructing his servants to secure all rooms. Tarugo exits and there is a momentary cleared stage, then, “Enter Patricio in a hurry, with two Servants towards Tarugo’s Chamber, where Tar. In his Gown meets ’em with his sword drawn” (5.1b)[5]. It is not entirely clear from this direction whether Tarugo meets Patricio inside or outside his chamber.

The action after this encounter, however, must take place within Tarugo’s rooms, because Horatio makes a speech from Tarugo’s bed. It is probably best, therefore, to assume that Tarugo meets Patricio outside his chamber, using the hall setting that is specified later in 5.6. Tarugo satisfies Patricio about the night’s adventures and he invites his host to have a look at Horatio on his bed: “He’s fast asleep, but that you may have a full view of his Face; I pray let’s step in quietly and satisfie my impatience./ {They both go in and peep[6]. From this point until the end of the scene the text is opaque about stage action. It is unclear where the men peep, at which point and how the bed and its occupant become visible, and what happens to the servants who started the scene (important if we are assuming cleared stages to precede scene changes).

The following explication is offered as a relatively simple solution that makes the most efficient use of available resources. First, we should assume that as there are no further directions or dialogue concerning the servants, Patricio has dismissed them a little before he exits with Tarugo to view Horatio. On the direction “They both go in and peep” the two men exit through the forestage door that Tarugo entered from and by association an audience will assign as leading to his chamber. An explicit exit is not marked, but this is a straightforward interpretation of the direction. The stage has now cleared and the chamber shutters open to discover a relieve setting representing a different part of Tarugo’s rooms (5.1c). Horatio lies on a bed set in the relieve area. The two men re-enter, either through the same forestage door, or through a wing entrance. They stay near their point of entrance, as the direction ‘peeps’ suggests, then another stage direction instructs, “Hor. Awakes, and stares about”[7]. Tarugo invites Patricio to “withdraw a little” so that Horatio is not disturbed. It is impossible to determine exactly what is meant by this implicit direction. If they are peeping by a forestage door, they might exit and re-enter after Horatio’s speech, but it would also make sense if, standing close by the wings, the men come downstage to observe from the forestage. Horatio now begins a monologue for the benefit of Patricio, whom he knows is overhearing[8]. After his speech, Horatio “puts himself to sleep agen.” and the two men confer briefly then exit.

With regards to the bed, we have no way of knowing whether St. Serfe was thinking scenically or in terms of the platform stage where the bed would simply be thrust on. Either way would work, but a discovery would be the self-recommending choice on the LIF stage. Having had to intervene to negotiate the staging of 5.1 – and intervention of some kind is imperative whatever staging is imagined – it is frustrating to see the next scene blithely advertised as “SCENE, Tarugo’s Chamber”. Of course, it makes perfect sense within this interpretation: the shutters close over the relieve and we are back in the same location I suggested for 5.1a. However, given that this heading is the only intra-act location stated in conventional format in the play, it is difficult to be entirely confident that this is also St. Serfe’s logic.

An intriguing stage direction in Act 5 refers to stage windows: “Tarugo comes to Liviana’s Chamber-window, and knocks. Enter Locura at the Window”[9]. So far in this study we have only encountered one undisputable reference to a window at standing height: the ‘blaze of light’ scene in The Adventures of Five Hours. At first sight, another low-level window is required here. That LIF had such windows is the view of many commentators, Lewcock being one of the most recent. In her Theatre Notebook survey she records six new LIF plays (but only three at Bridges St.) requiring a low-level window: The Villain, The Adventures of Five Hours, A Witty Combat, Love in a Tub, Sir Martin Mar-all, and Tarugo’s Wiles[10]. The window in The Villain turned out to be a balcony; indeed, up till now the only play where a balcony-window is definitely contraindicated is The Adventures. With regards to Tarugo’s Wiles, we saw Liviana appearing in a balcony early in Act 5. No textual explanation is offered as to the location of that balcony, and in internal scenes it is best considered as a theatrical convention. Here the street setting “in Piatza” (5.7) continues and the chamber window again looks like it refers to a balcony. This being the case, and the text not specifying upon what Tarugo knocks, there is no reason why he should not knock on the balcony railing, perhaps using his sword hilt[11].

The confusion over scenes and locations in Act 5 make it difficult to be certain, but if we follow the cleared stage principle and St. Serfe’s limited information, the act demands something like 11 changes of nine individual settings. This is close to Elvira standards and almost certainly needs simplification. However, the scenery plot shows a near maximal production with the only consolidations being that of three exterior locations in a single street setting, and the combining of Liviana’s chamber with Tarugo’s in the single scene when it is not a relieve (5.1). This solution requires a total of six shutters, five wings, and one relieve. However, even with this requirement only two mid-act backshutter replacements and one wing setting replacement (in Act 5) is required.


[1] Diary, October 15, 1677.
[2] Diary, October 5 & 15, 1677; Roscius Anglicanus, p.31.
[3]London: Herringman, 1668, p.49, 51, 52.
[4] Ibid. p.41.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid. p.43.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Op cit p.49.
[10] Computer Analysis 1, p.24.
[11] In 5.5, Patricio is said to be ‘rapping’ on a door, so perhaps there is a difference in usage between ‘knocking’ (generic) and ‘rapping’ (specific to a door).

The History of Henry the Fifth (staging)

by Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery (Aug. 1664; pub.1668)

Modern opinion of this play is likely to side with the Rev. John Genest (1832), “absurd to the last degree”, rather than Pepys, “the whole play the most full of height and raptures of wit and sense, that ever I heard”.[1] Irrespective of its literary merits the LIF prompter John Downes reported it a hit: “This Play was Splendidly Cloath’d: The King, in the Duke of York’s Coronation Suit; Owen Tudor, in King Charle[s’]: Duke of Burgundy, in the Lord of Oxford’s, and the rest all New. It was excellently Perform’d, and Acted 10 Days Successively”.[2] The production was not only a great success, it was, as we may infer from Downes, another spectacular social occasion. It may have been the last of a troika of fashionable productions in a season where Davenant pulled out all the stops to establish LIF as the premiere theatrical venue. The first of these extravagant productions was a revival of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII (December 1663), the second may have been Etherege’s Love in a Tub, and the third was Boyle’s play. What Downes says of Davenant’s personal involvement in Henry VIII – “Every part by the great Care of Sir William, being exactly perform’d” – was probably true of all major LIF productions at this time; indeed Downes repeats his praise of his manager’s attention to detail in relation to Boyle’s next play, Mustapha (April, 1665).[3] Downes’s information tells us that Henry V was an important production with a budget that was probably at least on par with other major productions. This is an important consideration as Boyle’s play like Etherege’s makes considerable scenic demands. Whereas Etherege states his demands explicitly, Boyle, unfortunately, supplies very little scenic information. Nevertheless, it is clear from his text that a large number of scenic locations are implied. It is interesting that in their next plays both Etherege and Boyle tone down their scenic demands, and Boyle in his later plays becomes adept at mobilising scenic resources. The implication is not only that both playwrights learned from their first theatrical experience, but also that whoever was responsible for allocating scenery to LIF plays was probably obliged to simplify some of the scenic demands in these plays. Although the budget was less of an issue with major productions, this task undoubtedly concerned balancing technical factors such as the manoeuvring of scenery, the number of men required to do it, and the rehearsing and managing of those men.

Unusually for its period (the 1930s), the last edition of Boyle’s complete works, by William Smith Clark II, considers matters of practical staging. Boyle supplies no scene heading or numbering in this play, so Clark applies the cleared stage principle to number the scenes and allocate fictional locations inferred from the dialogue. Clark’s scene headings represent a maximal scenic production in which each location is matched by an individual item of scenery. I reproduce them here to indicate the technical challenge posed by a production adopting this approach. The first column shows Clark’s scene numbers, the second his location, and in the third I provide a generic description of the scenery matching his locations.

1.1 The Royal Pavilion in the English Camp at Agincourt Pavilion 1
1.2 Dauphin’s Residence in a ProvincialTown Chamber 1
1.3 Audience Chamber in the RoyalPalace at Paris Stateroom 1
2.1 The Royal Pavilion in the English Camp at Agincourt Pavilion 1
2.2 Audience Chamber in the RoyalPalace at Paris Stateroom 1
2.3 Princess Katherine’s Chamber in the RoyalPalace Chamber 2
3.1 The Royal Pavilion in the English Camp at Agincourt Pavilion 1
3.2 A Lobby in the RoyalPalace at Paris Lobby 1
3.3 The Dauphin’s Chamber in the RoyalPalace at Paris Chamber 3
3.4 The Queen’s Chamber in the RoyalPalace at Paris Chamber 4
3.5 Princess Katherine’s Chamber in the Royal Palace Chamber 2
3.6 A Lobby in the RoyalPalace at Paris Lobby 1
(3.7  A Lobby in the Royal Palace at Paris Lobby 1)
3.8 Princess Katherine’s Chamber in the RoyalPalace Chamber 2
    Curtain falls
4.1 A Council Pavilion Pavilion 2
4.2 Audience Chamber in the RoyalPalace at Paris Stateroom 1
4.3 Princess Katherine’s Chamber in the RoyalPalace Chamber 2
4.4 Tudor’s Pavilion in the English Camp Pavilion 3
5.1 The Royal Pavilion in the English Camp at Agincourt Pavilion 1
5.2 Audience Chamber in the RoyalPalace at Troyes Stateroom 2
5.3 A Lobby in the Palace of the States General at Paris Lobby 2
5.4 Audience Chamber in the RoyalPalace at Troyes Stateroom 2
5.5 The Dauphin’s Pavilion in his Camp Pavilion 4
5.6 The Gates of the Royal Palace at Troyes Dropped curtain
5.7 The Hall of State in the RoyalPalace at Troyes Hall

Clark allocates a total of fourteen individual locations, comprising three main types: pavilion, public stateroom, and private chamber (his 5.6 is a special case and is discussed below). A scenically maximal production following these headings might run into technical difficulties. Act 3 has five different locations only one of which is repeated in Act 4, and none of the locations in Act 4 occurs in Act 5. In this arrangement two mid-act shutter replacements would be needed (3.1, 4.1), and all scenes would have to be replaced at the end of Acts 3 and 4. Theoretically, the LIF model could cope by employing some deft scene shuffling, but in production it might cause problems. On the other hand, a minimal production aiming to avoid the need for mid-act replacements might employ the generic scene types noted above to stage the play with just three shutter settings: pavilion, stateroom, chamber; two relieves: lobby and hall; and four wings (lobby/stateroom wings may be combined). Such a minimal production would make few technical demands, but might be difficult to follow spatially; nor does it sit that happily with Downes’s comments. Given the production’s status, a mid position between these poles would achieve a balance among implied location, visual aid to narrative, spectacle, and technical capacity. There are several arrangements that might achieve this balance; one such is shown in the scenery plot.

I have argued elsewhere that in terms of the staging of Tuke’s The Adventures of Five Hours it was important to discriminate house from house, but not necessarily rooms within a particular house. Applying that formula to Boyle’s play would reduce the scenic demand, but it might affect an audience’s ability to follow the play; there are, for example, seven scenes set in five different rooms in the Royal Palace in Paris. It is probably impracticable to match each to an individual setting, but some distinction among these rooms would aid an audience’s comprehension. Distinguishing public and private rooms within the palace is consonant with Boyle’s narrative, which exploits the public duty/ private feelings dichotomy typical of serious drama at this time. I therefore suggest the use of different shutter and wing settings for staterooms and chambers. We can immediately reduce scenic demand by combining similar locations to eliminate five. Clark’s 5.3 is brief, makes one appearance, and can usefully be combined with the other Paris ‘lobby’ scenes (3.2 & 3.6) in one item of scenery. We might also distinguish the pavilions on partisan lines – French, English – the problem is that there is only one definite French pavilion, the Dauphin’s in Act 5; it is not clear to which party Clark’s Council Pavilion belongs, maybe it is neutral, as the Duke of Burgundy is acting as negotiator. We might use a separate pavilion setting for each, but if we follow this logic we should also include another to distinguish Tudor’s from Henry’s in the English camp. In Restoration terms a pavilion setting immediately signifies a military camp. If the actors themselves do not provide sufficient indication of place, signification may be reinforced by costumes or props: actors wearing the livery of a particular character or bringing on portable properties such as flags or other insignia. Accordingly, only one pavilion setting is proposed. Finally, as the play moves among three main geographical locations – Agincourt, Paris, and Troyes – some delineation along geographical lines might assist the narrative. This is acknowledged in the simplified scenery plot, which combines geographical distinction and generic scenes to arrive at the following solution: five shutters: pavilion, chamber 1 (provincial town), chamber 2 (Paris), stateroom 1 (Paris), stateroom 2 (Troyes); four wings: pavilion, chamber, stateroom/lobby, hall; and two relieves: lobby, hall. I have used a relieve for Clark’s ‘lobby’ scenes to ensure that no mid-act shutter replacement is required (I believe this was also a period concern), and I also make the final scene in the play a relieve to match the grand effect obviously intended by Boyle: “The Curtain is drawn up./ The Curtain being lifted up, there appear the King, Princess Katherine, Queen Mother, Princess Ann, Chareloys, and all the English, and the French Nobility and Officers of State; and others according to their places”.[4]

So far, this use of the front curtain has not been encountered in new LIF plays; although its use is implied to mark off the ‘opera’ sections of The Playhouse to be Let (the first entry of Sir Francis Drake reprints the original stage direction for the curtain to rise “by degrees”).[5] Boyle uses the curtain on two other occasions in the play. At the start of Act 4 he specifies another impressive tableau:

The Curtain being drawn up, The Duke of Burgundy, the Constable, Earl of Charaloys, and the Bishop of Arras are seen sitting at one side of a Table, attended by the French Officers of State; on the other side, are seated the Duke of Exeter, Duke of Bedford, the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, and the Earl of Warwick, attended by the English.[6]

This dramatic use of the curtain allows the actors to get into position around a large setting prop; although how the table is removed before the next scene is not indicated (probably carried off in sections), nor does Boyle mark a curtain drop at the end of the preceding scene. However, he does mark the drop before the final tableau: “The Curtain Falls. Two Heraulds appear opposite to each other in the Balconies near the Stage”.[7] The heralds then play out a curious scene from their balconies in front of the dropped curtain while the company gets into position behind it. The implication of balconies not “near the stage” in the heralds’ direction has attracted comment, but it is only a problem if one adheres to four-door theory. All commentators agree that balconies were positioned above stage doors. If we assume two forestage doors with attendant balconies, then these are self-evidently the balconies ‘near the stage’. The balconies further away from the stage are those available to the audience. From Pepys’s diary entries it is clear that there was little distinction at the time between balconies and what we would call boxes. On May 5, 1668, for example, he reports, “To the Duke of York’s playhouse; and there coming late he [Creed] and I up to the balcony-box, where we find my Lady Castlemayne and several great ladies; and there we sat with them”. From another entry it is clear that one of these ‘balcony-boxes’ close to the LIF stage, but not over it, housed the musicians. At the crowded first performance of Davenant and Dryden’s adaptation of The Tempest on November 7, 1667 he was, “forced to sit in the side balcone over against the musique-room at the Duke’s house, close by my Lady Dorset”.[8] The close relationship between Restoration audience and performers recorded in many of Pepys’s entries is demonstrated pictorially by a contemporary print of the coronation of James II that shows musicians in the ‘balcony-box’ nearest the throne of Mary of Modena, and musicians and audience mingling in the next.

Boyle’s stage direction and Pepys’s diary entries are easier to reconcile on a two-door rather than a four-door forestage. Support for this view is provided by the equivalent stage direction in several manuscript versions of the play: “A French and an English Herauld appeare in one of the Balconies without the stage or in both of them” (my italics).[9]


[1] Genest, Some Account of The English Stage, 1832, p.53; Pepys, Aug. 13, 1664.
[2] Roscius Anglicanus, p.28.
[3] “Sir William’s great Care of having it perfect and exactly perform’d, it produc’d to himself and Company vast Profit” (ibid. p.26).
[4] The History of Henry the Fifth, p.50.
[5] Davenant, Works, p.87.  The front curtain is specified to be used scenically in Robert Howard and Dryden’s The Indian Queen (Bridges St. 1664). A curtain is also called for in Howard’s The Surprisal (Vere St. 1662), but as this was produced on an essentially non-scenic stage it is highly doubtful that a front curtain is implied. Use of the curtain in this play marks the start and end of a masque and there is nothing in the text that demands anything other than a hanging across an entrance or central opening. Boyle’s use is more audacious than either of these examples.
[6] Op cit p.29.
[7] Ibid. p.49.
[8] ‘Over-against’ is common Restoration usage for ‘opposite’. See also diary entry for May 12, 1669.
[9] Clark (ed.), The Dramatic Works of Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery, (2 vols.), Cambridge, Mass: Harvard UP, 1937, vol. 2, p.848, n.480. There are five MSS, all have similar wording in this stage direction.

The Comical Revenge; or, Love in a Tub (staging)

by George Etherege (March 1664; pub. 1664)

Scenic demand and Love in a Tub
Etherege was one of the circle of wits close to Charles II. This social position means that we should not dismiss lightly the large scenic demands of his first play, Love in a Tub (as it was widely known). Productions such as this were social events as much as they were theatrical occasions and were more likely to have a larger production budget than more standard fare. This view is bolstered by the LIF prompter John Downes who reports on the great success of the original production.[1] I would argue, however, that some simplification would have been necessary for a smooth fit with the LIF scenic arrangement. It should be remembered that most new plays in the early 1660s were also first plays written before the operations and hence limitations of the scenic stage were fully understood. This view is supported by the control Etherege shows in his next play, She Wou’d if She Cou’d (1668), which is a model of scenic restraint. On the other hand, there is the possibility that Davenant may have seized on the opportunity presented by this play, and by his spectacular adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII a few weeks before, to advertise to fashionable theatregoers the scenic capabilities of LIF, much as The Playhouse to be Let had done for a citizen audience in the summer of 1663. Thus, the following discussion considers both a near maximal production (following the demand as far as possible) and one more economical of scenic resources. It is best followed by reference to the associated scenery plot.

In Love in a Tub Etherege numbers all his scenes and supplies ample scenic information and stage directions, although scene headings are not complete. In all he specifies twenty-six scenes in eleven scenic locations, but seven scenes though numbered are not headed. Five of these unheaded scenes occur in Act 4, the other two are in Act 5. The concentration of unheaded scenes in Act 4 might imply a lax typesetter, but of these only 4.1 is a location not given a heading elsewhere and this is easily inferred to be Beaufort’s house. Etherege may have felt that the context made the settings obvious, as indeed they mostly are. The play has attracted much comment for literary and dramatic qualities, but in terms of staging it is largely straightforward. There are only two concerns. The first, as suggested, is its scenic demand, the other is an isolated incident of spatial ambiguity, which will be explained below. This occurs in 5.2 and results in my splitting Etherege’s scene in two: 5.2.a and 5.2.b. The scenery plot gives a full breakdown of scene numbers and locations. In play order, the individual locations are as follows:

  1. Ante-chamber at Sir Frederick’s house
  2. Bed chamber at Sir Frederick’s house
  3. Wheadle’s lodgings
  4. Lord Bevill’s house
  5. Garden at Bevill’s house
  6. Tavern
  7. Covent-Garden (street)
  8. Field
  9. Widow’s house
  10. Sir Frederick’s lodgings
  11. Lord Beaufort’s house (inferred)
  12. Lady Daubwell’s house.

Even in a maximal production it is unlikely that Etherege’s distinction between the various settings in Frederick’s house would have been reflected scenically. We can therefore reduce these locations immediately to ten. Of these, one looks like a definite relieve scene. Lord Bevil’s garden contains an arbour into which characters retreat, as a successive pair of stage direction in Act 2 demonstrate: “Aurelia and Leticia walk into an Arbour, and sing this Song in Parts”, and when the song is over the young women continue their former discussion, “Walking out of the Arbour”.[2] The arbour features again in 5.3 for the same musical purpose. This time, however, it seems to present a staging problem. Letitia has been singing to Graciana in the arbour, Graciana’s suitor Beaufort enters and is surprised:

Beauf. starting
Hark, that was Graciana’s voice

Grac.
Oh Beaufort!

Beauf.
She calls on me, and does advance this way;
I will conceal my self within this Bower; she may
The secret causes of my grief betray.

Beaufort goes into an Arbour, and Graciana and Letitia come upon the Stage.[3]

This last stage direction raises an interesting question: if the women are in a relieve arbour where does Beaufort hide?  The model provides the answer. Beaufort enters using a wing passageway downstage of the shutter line. As he enters he hears Graciana’s voice and stops to listen. The women leave the relieve space and “come upon” the forestage looking for Beaufort. As they do so, he quickly steps back the way he came and hides behind one of the tree/bush wings – “this Bower” – standing for the garden scene.

If we count the garden as a relieve scene, this leaves nine locations to be allocated shutters. In terms both of costs and practical stage management nine shutter pairs is still a lot. A minimal staging could make do with five by merging all interiors belonging to characters of the same social rank: room (high social status), room (low status), tavern, street, and field. Cavendish’s The Humerous Lovers (1667) suggests this approach. The scene headings in this play indicate that scenery was shared according to the socio-economic status of the characters (see associated analysis). This is not the solution I adopt for The Adventures of Five Hours, but that play has fewer stated locations and using the same shutter pair to represent all houses in Tuke’s play would impair an audience’s ability to follow the complicated plot. In Etherege’s it is workable and the scenery plot shows how it could be accommodated. The only difficulty in following the plot that may arise in this arrangement is when the action shifts directly from one high social status house to another, as in 3.4, 4.6, 5.1, and 5.5. However, at the start of each of these scenes Etherege makes it easy for an audience to identify location. In what may be part of an overall strategy, Etherege ensures that if an entering character is not already identified with a particular location, that location is quickly specified in dialogue. Where the appearance of the chamber setting would follow shutters of a different type, such as 1.4 and 4.3, the scene change itself is likely to make an audience more receptive to the possibility of a change in location – in the same manner as an exeunt followed by a re-entrance on the pre-Restoration platform stage. Irrespective of this possibility, however, at the start of each of these scenes there is some indication of location. This indication is either given in dialogue – directly or by telling the audience of forthcoming events – or through association of character with place. The stylistic switches between prose (Sir Frederick’s ambit) and rhyming couplets (centred on Bevill’s house) also help to distinguish spatially the idealistic and realistic worlds that clash in this and other ‘split-plot’ tragicomedies.

As noted above, scenic economy may have been out of kilter with the social status of the original production and Davenant may have been prepared to spend more money on individual scenic items. Even if this had been the case, however, some rationalising of scenic locations would have been necessary. I have already suggested that there is nothing to be gained by using three shutters for Frederick’s house, and it is virtually certain that these locations at least would have been combined. If this reduction is self-recommending, other less obvious economies yield surprising theatrical gains. If we allow some shutter scenes to do the type of ‘double duty’ encountered in Boyle’s Guzman (see my Theatre Notebook article ‘Boyle’s Guzman at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 1669’), we arrive at a total of seven shutter settings (unheaded scenes in italics):

  1. Chamber 1: Frederick’s house (1.1, 1.2, 3.4), Beaufort’s house (4.1)
  2. Chamber 2: Bevill’s house (1.4, 2.1, 3.6, 4.5, 5.1, 5.5)
  3. Chamber 3: Widow’s house (3.3, 4.6, 4.7 & 5.2.b), Daubwell’s house (4.3, 5.4)
  4. Wheadle’s lodgings (1.3, 4.2)
  5. Tavern: (2.3, 3.1)
  6. Street: Covent Garden (3.2, 5.2.a)
  7. Field: (3.5, 4.4)

The method used to arrive at this solution is applied in all the analyses in this blog. Principally, the scenic requirements of the play are assessed from the point of view of a conservative scene keeper whose aim is to strike a balance among the author’s demands, costs, and theatrical constraints. Unless there is a specific dramatic or theatrical need for an individual item, scenic locations within the same house or different parts of the same exterior location may usefully be combined. Priority is given to shutter scenes that make multiple specified or implied appearances, for example Bevill’s house. Settings that make fewer or single appearances are candidates for ‘double duty’, but only where there is no danger of disturbing dramatic logic, or otherwise misleading an audience. Finally, scenic doubling may be considered where it serves a useful dramatic purpose (though we should be wary of projecting an over-subtle use, discernible more in the study than the theatre). If we apply these conditions, the only locations affected are those for Frederick/Beaufort and the Widow/Daubwell. Frederick’s two specified rooms are combined since there is no particular differentiation implied in the text. A bed may be assumed in 1.1 but it is neither specified nor required. In this case, the marked exeunt after 1.1 would be sufficient to indicate to an audience that a change of interior location has occurred (though here such indication is immaterial). Both these proposed scenic mergers pair characters belonging to the same or similar social spheres, so neither dramatic nor social propriety is offended. There is also a useful, and perhaps not over-subtle, side effect in that this scenic doubling serves to underline the dramatic doubling in the play between the idealistic Beaufort and the realistic Frederick, and between real and fake Widows. The fact that the same scenery would signify the houses of both Daubwell and the Widow heightens the dramatic irony of the gulling of the aptly named Cully who is led to Daubwell’s (4.3) under the impression that he is to meet and marry the Widow, really the con-woman Grace in disguise.


[1] “The clean and well performance of this Comedy, got the Company more Reputation and Profit than any preceding Comedy” (Roscius Anglicanus, op cit p.25).
[2]London: Herringman, 1664, p.23.
[3] Ibid p.82.

Samuel Pepys and the ‘altered’ stage at Lincoln’s Inn Fields

On October 21, 1661 four months after the opening of Sir William Davenant’s theatre at Lincoln’s Inn Fields (hereafter LIF), Samuel Pepys notes in his diary that the scenic arrangement at the theatre had changed: “To the Opera which is now newly begun to act again, after some alteracion of their scene, which do make it very much worse; but the play ‘Love and Honour’ […] well done”. Pepys’s entry suggests that any model of the LIF stage derived from analysis of post-‘alteration’ LIF plays, my own included, may not be applicable to the first LIF productions. Discussion of this first period of production must, therefore, consider a possible earlier version of the LIF stage arrangement. Edward Langhans speculates that the alteration was the addition of additional grooves upstage “for the benefit of deep vistas”.[1] My analysis of LIF plays reveals no clear indication of demand for such vistas; however, Langhans is almost certainly correct in thinking that Davenant made a structural change of some kind to the LIF stage.[2] The exact nature of this change will remain a mystery unless new evidence is found, but I believe it is possible to glean more from the evidence that we do have. The following is, as far as I know, the first attempt to examine this evidence with the aim of inferring the first scenic arrangement at LIF.

Langhans makes some interesting speculations about the nature of the changes, but it is possibly more productive to begin by asking why the changes were made at this particular time, rather than suggesting a possible form. It is curious that the alterations arrive when they do. Although records are by no means complete the London Stage has no record of any LIF performances between September 11 and October 21, a gap of 40 days. There was also a hiatus of 35 days after the initial off-season run of The Siege of Rhodes. However, it is easier to view the earlier production as a special case – Rhodes generated much needed cash and put LIF on the map ready for its first season after the summer holiday.[3] The stutter in LIF’s post-alteration production might suggest teething problems at the new theatre, but there is no indication of this in either Pepys’s dairy or in John Downes’s account of Restoration theatre production, Roscius Anglicanus. Admittedly, Downes, who was the prompter at LIF and later with Betterton throughout his career (he retired in 1706), was writing retrospectively, but while his dates may be occasionally faulty, his memory of events at this exciting time in his life is particularly vivid.[4] Pepys has nothing but praise for Rhodes and two out of three other productions that he attended before the alterations[5]. Of Rhodes he says, “the scene opened; which indeed is very fine and magnificent” (July 2); The Wits he pronounces, “a most excellent play, and admirable scenes” (August 15); similarly Hamlet was “done with scenes very well” (August 24); we do not know what he thought of Twelfth Night because he was so conscience-struck for attending that he “took no pleasure at all in it” (September 11). Not only was Davenant’s new venture artistically successful it was evidently making money: Pepys reports that he saw a King’s company production during the initial run of Rhodes and remarked how strange it was to find the Vere Street theatre “that used to be so thronged, now empty since the Opera begun” (July 4). Downes gleefully reports that Rhodes “continu’d Acting 12 days without interruption with great applause”; that The Wits was performed eight days successively; that Hamlet was the company’s most profitable tragedy; and that Twelfth Night “had mighty Success”.[6] None of these reports suggests a theatre with technical problems. The closure and subsequent alterations may, therefore, have been planned. Davenant was a careful and patient manager, he did not rush his actresses into performance before they had been properly trained, and he did not convert Lisle’s tennis court hastily. He first leased the court in March 1660 and by January 1661, deciding, as he put it, “there wanted room for the depth of scenes in the ground belonging to the said Tennis Court”, he leased further ground to build a scene store, which he had already started building by March.[7] If in January 1661 he had a fair idea of how big his scene store should be it seems out of character that he would miscalculate so badly the size of his scenic stage, especially as he seems to have given himself ample time in which to make the conversion. It is beginning to look likely that a closure at some point was planned by Davenant. Lack of cash could well be the reason why he opened with what he did, and excellent box-office receipts the reason why he closed when he did. He might have planned to make the final alterations when he had the cash, and the financial success of his opening productions enabled him to make the necessary alterations at an earlier date. Alternatively, he might have planned the closure date from the start. Either way, Davenant’s financial situation may well have been the determining factor. Cash flow is a problem at the start of any venture, and then as now the building of a theatre is a risky and costly investment. Hotson records Davenant’s underhanded attempt to secure the position (hence, revenues) of Master of the Revels in Ireland, his persistent evasion of the license-fee claims of the English Master, Sir Henry Herbert, and his selling of a number of Duke’s Company shares.[8] All these activities suggest that finances were tight, and in the matter of the shares Nicoll concludes that Davenant’s hand was forced: “Within a few months expenses were accumulating so steadily that in June further shares were disposed of and some more followed the following year”.[9] Given this financial situation, and the fact that he already had in store scenery for The Siege of Rhodes and for his Commonwealth ‘operas’ The Cruelty of the Spaniards in Peru and The History of Sir Francis Drake (plus, perhaps, some pre-Civil War items), it would make sense if Davenant had planned to open his new theatre with a production for which he already had scenery, and with old plays that made few scenic demands, while he slowly built up a new scenery stock and improved his cash flow. [10] By opening his new theatre with both parts of The Siege of Rhodes he was not only making a personal artistic statement he was also extracting further use from old scenery, and thereby saving money.

Having considered the question of Davenant’s timing, we may now turn to the form of the alterations. There is an obvious observation to make about the idea of using old scenery from Rhodes 1 on the LIF stage – it was designed for a smaller stage, was therefore smaller in dimensions, and made use of only three pairs of fixed wings. This very fact, however, might explain Davenant’s need to alter his scenic arrangement at some point. As John Orrell has shown, John Webb’s design for the Rhodes frontispiece records two sets of dimensions (ink and lead) that correspond to the original production at Rutland House and subsequent production at the Cockpit, Drury Lane.[11] The scenic opening is constant in height, about nine feet, but Orrell shows that the width, 18ft 4in in the elevation, was later modified to 16ft 10in.[12] The proscenium opening at LIF was certainly larger, Graham Barlow proposes an opening roughly 25ft square.[13] If the original Rhodes frontispiece was used at LIF, the stage must have been dressed with large amounts of curtain ruches to the top and sides to render it visually acceptable. Acceptable, but not perfect, as the prologue to Rhodes 2 suggests. The prologue apologises for the stage’s “narrow Place” that compared to Continental examples must seem like a mere “Chess-board”.[14] Here, I think Peter Holland is only half right when he states, “None of the editions [of The Siege of Rhodes] in 1663 or later provide any evidence of the staging of The Siege at Lincoln’s Inn Fields”.[15] This may well apply to the play proper, but Davenant’s prologue refers to backstage actresses – “our Women” – quivering with “bashfull fear” of the wits in the audience.[16] As no women would have acted in any pre-Restoration performance of this play it seems likely that the prologue is directly connected to the LIF production. In which case, the prologue’s references to “this narrow Place” make perfect sense. It must have embarrassed Davenant that he was not yet in a position to exploit the available height and width of his new theatre. Far from being ‘unnecessary’ as Holland believes, Davenant’s comments may refer to the temporary stage set up for Rhodes on the larger LIF stage but not to the LIF stage itself.

There is another dimension to consider – the stage depth. The Rhodes stage at The Cockpit, Drury Lane was approximately 16 feet deep, measured from backcloth to frontispiece.[17] The corresponding figure for Barlow’s LIF model is 28 feet, a difference of 12 feet. If Davenant was using old scenery to save money it is unlikely that he would have added to his costs by requesting another wing position to make use of the extra stage depth. Even had he wanted to do so it is difficult to see where the additional wings would have been positioned. An extra rear or mid pair would have distorted perspectives; an extra front pair would have required a new frontispiece. To maintain visual coherence, use of the old scenery would have demanded use of the original positioning and perspectives. However, as noted above, Rhodes 2 implies changeable wings, a flexibility that appears to question my suggestion of a limited staging for the opening LIF productions. Adding just one more wing pair in each position would have near doubled the original scenery costs. Davenant may not have been able to afford changeable wings at this time, but on the other hand he may have felt such expenditure was artistically necessary. Either way, it would not have affected the adaptation of the old scenery to the LIF stage; this modification would not have altered the original scale and perspective. There is little doubt that Davenant was financially hard pressed at the opening of his new theatre. In this respect the appeal for money in the Rhodes 2 prologue may be more specific to future developments at LIF than has so far been recognised:

Oh Money! Money! If the WITTS would dress,
With Ornaments, the present face of Peace;
And to our Poet half the Treasure spare,
Which Faction gets from Fools to nourish Warr;
Then his contracted Scenes should wider be,
And move by greater Engines…[18]

I suggest that the success of the opening productions enabled Davenant to be as good as his word and that once he had made his modifications, LIF scenes were indeed ‘wider’ and moved in necessarily ‘greater’ grooves. Significantly, there are no records of the first part of Rhodes being performed after the alterations, but the London Stage lists several subsequent performances of the second part, the last being at Dorset Garden on March 24, 1677.[19] It may not have been technically difficult to accommodate Rhodes 1 on the altered LIF stage, but reverting to the cramped staging necessitated by the old scenery would certainly have looked odd and it may no longer have been considered appropriate for the fashionable venue that LIF had become by the mid-1660s. In contrast, post-alteration revivals of Rhodes 2 may well have been presented with the fuller staging suggested by the text. Whatever changes were made by Davenant to the LIF stage it is important to recall that they did not affect Pepys’s enjoyment of the play and he makes no further mention of it in his diary (even though he attended three performances of Love and Honour in October 1661).

In conclusion, if Davenant was short of money after converting Lisle’s tennis court, as seems likely, it would have made sense for him to have opened the new theatre with a tried and tested production and a scenic arrangement that required minimal outlay. However, restaging the Cockpit production of The Siege of Rhodes for both parts of the play (with minor modifications) would not have exploited the full stage space available at LIF. Pairs of single, fixed-wing scenes at three wing positions would have positioned the backcloth around 12 feet closer to the audience in comparison to any likely future arrangement. Therefore, when in September-October, 1661 Davenant subsequently altered his scenic stage to allow the use, if I am correct, of new, custom-built scenery, the backscenes would have been positioned further upstage.[20] A more distant positioning of the backscenes might well explain Pepys’s initial and probably naïve aversion to Davenant’s alterations – the scenery had less initial impact because it was further off. This suggestion has the advantage of fitting the available evidence such that the nature of Davenant’s changes, their timing, and Pepys’s reaction may be seen as related and explicable.


[1] Langhans, ‘Staging Practices in the Restoration Theatre 1660-1682’, unpublished PhD thesis, Yale (1955 ) p.289.
[2] Keenan, ‘Early Restoration staging: play production at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 1661-1674’, unpublished PhD thesis, London (2006).
[3] The London Stage notes that the theatrical season remained fairly constant during the 40 years from 1660-1700: the “schedule prevailed from October to June, with less frequent acting from June through September” (op cit introduction lxvii).
[4] As well as being the Duke’s Company’s prompter, Downes made his acting debut at the premiere of  The Siege of Rhodes. Unfortunately, the presence of the King and his nobles had a debilitating effect: “the sight of that August presence, spoil’d me for an actor” (Roscius Anglicanus, op cit p.34).
[5] Although both parts of Rhodes were initially performed at LIF, most of Pepys’s references to Rhodes are to part two.
[6] Op cit pp.21-3. There is no evidence to show how scenery was allocated to these old plays, but it was likely  to have been minimal judging by a promptbook for a later LIF revival, Shirley’s The Witty Faire One, which was allocated only three settings (see Langhans, Restoration Promptbooks, op cit p.43).
[7] See Hotson, Commonwealth and Restoration Stage, op cit pp.124-5.
[8] Ibid. pp.220-1.
[9] History, op cit, p.301.
[10] John Freehafer refers to the possibility of pre-Restoration scenery in his ‘Perspective Scenery And The Caroline Playhouses’ (Theatre Notebook, 1973, vol.27, no.3, p.111), though it is doubtful that any such scenery could have been used at LIF without modification.
[11] See Theatres, op cit pp.68-74.
[12] Ibid. The height of the frontispiece is 11ft but this includes a 2ft architrave. Surprisingly the narrower opening was required to fit the otherwise larger Cockpit space.
[13] See Thesis, op cit vol.3, Fig. 16.  
[14] Danchin, Prologues 1.1, op cit p.67
[15] Holland, Ornament of action, op cit p.257, n.65.
[16] Danchin, Prologues 1.1, op cit p.67.
[17] Webb shows 18ft but this includes approximately 2ft behind the backcloth.
[18] Danchin, Prologues 1.1, op cit p.67.
[19] The London Stage editors list a performance of the first part in May 1667, their evidence being a Lord Chamberlain’s list of royal performances for this period (reproduced by Nicoll, History, op cit p.346),  but the LC entry records only the play title not the part and is therefore inconclusive.  Further alterations to the scenery must have been made for the DorsetGarden revivals.
[20] The London Stage calendar records no performance at LIF from September 11 to October 21, though records are by no means complete.  If this is anywhere near accurate, the theatre was closed for at least a month.  Judging by the Warrants for carpentry work at Court theatres (See Boswell, Restoration Court Stage, op cit p.236) this would have been more than enough time for some major restructuring, if required.

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