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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This review of Jonson’s staging methods in eight plays over 34 years in five theatres suggests that he was persistently innovative and creative. He adapted his plays to different types of theatre and made his decisions about staging match the differing objectives he set himself within the plays. It shows that he could write on a large scale as well as for intimate situations, and that he created stage events which involved complex movement and intricate actions. He was always aware of the need to entertain his audiences as well as being concerned to stimulate their thinking, and in order to do this he used a range of staging devices including metatheatrical presentation, onstage commentary, and the creation of an imagined space offstage. Such devices could be simple and adaptable to different situations, but at times he also located stage action quite specifically to real places in London.

Keywords: theatres, offstage, onstage commentary, metatheatre, performance space, audiences, drama theory

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