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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the volatility of occasional entertainments in space and time as a reflection of how adaptable the conventions of early modern theatre could be. It considers how occasional entertainments, fully interactive with the richly physical and symbolic ecologies around them, reveal the role of a fixed stage in the design and procurement of early modern theatricality. It shows that poetic verse was a relatively insignificant element in the entertainments, pageants, and Lord Mayors shows of the period and explains how print became a way to transform the contingencies of occasion into an enduring ‘poesy’: in print, the noise, rain, mud, crowds, bored monarchs, tired children, and sheer formal incoherence of the event all resolved into a grand and silent art.

Keywords: occasion, fixed stage, occasional entertainments, early modern theatre, theatricality, poetic verse, pageants, Lord Mayors shows, print, poesy

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