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Players Theatre London

Donald asks…

Do any West End London Theatre’s accept people for work experience?

Does anyone know of anyone who has done work experience in a theatre in London? Also if it is possible to do work experience there how would you advise that i get in contact with them etc? Obviously acting work experience is impossible so i just want to be doing backstage/front of house things.
Thanks.

TheatrePlayers answers:

What do you mean Acting work experience is impossible, tosh. Probably not in the West End, but that is just the tip of the Acting world in Blighty.

Http://amdram.co.uk/

Check out this site also Google Am Dram and your suburb or Town/Village and see who is closest to you, if you can get a job in the West End good luck but don’t stop there it The Major player but it isn’t the whole acting world.

Ruth asks…

What are some important facts about theater during the Elizabethan era?

It’s for a paper and I just can’t sem to find any good imformation with stuff I can use. Can you please help me?

TheatrePlayers answers:

The Elizabethans built the first permanent theatres in London. There were two kinds of theatres. One was the amphitheatre, which is of the same type as the rebuilt Globe Theatre. The more expensive seats and the stage were both roofed over, but the body of the theatre was open to the sky. The other type was the hall, which was based on the great hall of wealthy people’s houses in which drama ahd been performed for centuries. This type of theatre was smaller than the amphitheatres, but was completely roofed over and therefore more comfortable. Due to their smaller capacity, the tickets cost more in a hall theatre, so that poorer people could not afford to go to them. The cheapest seats at the Globe in 1600, standing in the open air in the yard, cost 1d, which was cheap entertainment. The cheapest seats in the hall houses were 6d, which was half a London artisan’s weekly wage.

The London audience was not only large but relatively well educated. There were, of course, no detailed figures concerning literacy kept at this time, but it seems that in London on 18 percent of apprentices and 3 ppercent of servants could not sign their names, whereas in the provinces in the same social class of people 73 percent may not have been literate. These figures are only a rough and ready estimate, but it deos give an indication that the London audience was liable to appreciate writers like Shakespeare and Marlowe. Theatre audiences were large, even considering London’s growing population. The amphitheatres held about 2,500 people and the halls about 1,000 people and estimates for 1595 suggest that about 15,000 people visited the theatre weekly. The programme changed very frequently, so that the same play was rarely performed on consecutive nights. You could go to the theatre every week and see a different play each time.

The number of plays being staged in London certainly seems to have impressed visitors. Thomas Platter noted that ‘daily at two in the afternoon, London has two, sometimes three plays running in different places, competing with each other, and those which play best obtain most spectators.’ The players certainly had to work for their money as a result. They often performed a different play every day and had to produce new plays frequently. In the 1594/5 season the Admiral’s Men performed six days a week and offered no fewer than thirty-eight plays that season, of which twenty-one were new. Two of the new plays were only given one performance and only eight of the new plays were performed about once a month.

The performance would have taken place in full daylight, unlike today when audiences sit in the dark so all your attenton is naturally focused on the stage. There was no interval and the performance lasted about three hours. This was an age when people could listen to sermons for hours, so presumably they must ahve had more staying power than modern audiences. However, concentrating for the whole time would have been hard work given the distractions, particularly the hawkers who were walking around selling food and drink. Thomas Platter commented that ‘during the performance foodd and drink are carried round the audience so that for what one cares to pay one may also have refreshment.’ The favourite foods seem to have been apples and nuts. For example, in his play Wit Without Money, Fletcher talks of people who ‘crack nuts with the Scholars in penny Rooms again,and fight for apples.’ Cracking nuts seems to have caused the same annoyance that people rustling sweet-papers does today.

The conditions in the theatre were not very comfortable by modern standards but ordinary people of the time can hardly have thought them that bad. Thomas Platter comments that it was possible to pay for cushioned seats at the theatre, but that such seats cost 3d as opposed to the 2d it cost for a wooden bench or 1d it cost to stand in the yard. Most people were used to hard wooden benches as upholstery was a luxury for the wealthy.

Despite the popularity of plays, the professions of both actor and playwright were not highly regarded at the time. Then as now, most members of both professions were certainly not well off and there were still many actors who scraped a living by wandering about the country and who never enjoyed the relatively prosperity of working with a London company. At a time when ‘masterless men’ were mistrusted, actors must have hardly seemed like respectable members of society. The actors working in the permanent theatrres in London were far better off than those who had to tour constantly. At times of plague the theatres were closed, so the actors had to go on the road to make a living. Philip Henslowe’s contract with one of his hired men, William Kendal, states that he is to be paid 10s a week while working in London but only 5s on tour ‘in the country’. This demonstrates how much lower the troupe’s profits were expected to be if they had to go on tour.

George asks…

where can i buy a home cinema?

like a projector, that you plug into your dvd player , and stick at thhe back of a room, and have a pull down screen?
where in the UK (london) can i get this sort of stuff for a reasonable price? thank you!

TheatrePlayers answers:

NEWEGG.com and mail order it in, just make sure it is compatible with UK electrical requirements (voltage).
NEWEGG.com has the best prices and has feedback from buyers that can tell you if the Make, Model, & Merchant are reliable.
If you can not mail order, at least use their prices and quality ratings as a guideline to see what local merchants have, and help keep prices in line.
In the US >Best Buy, and Circuit City are pretty much the places to go for price/quality, but more esoteric brands are available from fewer and more exclusive dealers (ie: more expensive). Not sure about UK, sorry!
A web search should help you find dealers in your area that you can inquire with about the various brands and products.
Surely London has a High-End Home Theatre store, that is where I’d start to learn more, you do not have to buy it there, just jearn about the products available.
Find out more about building and using Home Theatres @ AUDIOHOLIC.com
Good Viewing/Listening >unknownsoundman@yahoo.com
PS: and drink a pint for me!

Thomas asks…

What theatre companies were around in william shakespeare’s time?

Please can soe one tell me because google or live search cant tell me the awnser. Rmember there is points up for grabs!!

TheatrePlayers answers:

Shakespeare’s company was known at various times as: The Earl of Leicester’s Players, Lord Strange’s Men, the Lord Chamberlain’s Company and finally the King’s Men.

There were also The Admiral’s Men and Henslowe’s London Company, among others.

Lizzie asks…

What do you think it was like to be in the Globe Theatre back in medieval times?

Id Imagine it to be a crazy experience. Imagine the cold weather, since structures were not as sound as they are today. And imagine the bathing habits of citizens, considering there wasnt even deodorant….

What do you think it was like.

TheatrePlayers answers:

It wasn’t in Medieval times, it was in the 16th century which is later. The first proper theatre as we know it was called the Theatre, built at Shoreditch, London in 1576; the most famous Elizabethan playhouse was the Globe Theatre (1599).

In those days, there wasn’t as much entertainment provided for people, so going to the playhouse would have been much more popular than it is now. I would imagine it to be a wonderful, riotous, rollicking experience, with all classes of society present from masked ladies of the nobility to the poorest peasants who managed to pay their penny!

The weather was rather colder in England in the 16th century than it is now. (Witnessed by the freezing-over of the Thames river from time to time, though admittedly that was made easier by the obstruction to its flow by old London Bridge.) But in the packed theatres, you would be warmed by body heat. We’ve never had such terribly cold weather on a regular basis that people froze; we have a temperate climate with both cold snaps and very hot, humid summers. These latter would have been worse: imagine wearing all those corsets, layers of material and ruffs then!

Dear Bearstirringfromcave, who always gives such good answers, is right in saying that people did bathe in Elizabethan times, though it wasn’t the way we do it now. “What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve after” – if you didn’t know anything else, you wouldn’t worry about it! And I can honestly say that I’ve had to move on buses and trains in this day and age because of sweaty smells, and worse! Generally, the rich clothes people wore would have been over linen underwear, which would have been washed regularly. They didn’t have our kind of disposable clothing.

Remember, also, that even though people didn’t have deodorants, there were many flowered waters to rinse oneself with; soap was well-known, although it wasn’t as effective as it is today, and people carried pomanders to hold to their nose. There were also no such ghastly smells as petrol and the pollution we have today. It would all have been much more natural.

Exchange also the smells we have today from fast-food places and other restaurants, and replace them with home-made pies, spiced wines, extinguished candles and torches, and so much more. Imagine the candlelight flickering from the windows as you walked past, rather than the fluorescent and unnatural lighting we have today.

I think that going to the theatre in Elizabethan times would have been a wonderful experience, come rain or shine. You’d see all society, laugh, cry and wonder at the plays while their special effects would have been quite fantastic. Buy something to eat and throw at the players; marvel at the supernatural, and end up perhaps at the tavern for a “pie and a pint”!

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