During Elizabethan theatre, plays were popular with everyone and people enjoyed various genres. New companies flourished and writers were employed to satisfy the demand for novelty. IN the 17th century King James I and his son Charles I commissioned p private performances called ‘masques’ which involved music, dance, costume and special effects. Inigo Jones introduced the proscenium arch and moveable scenery arrange in the perspective into British theatre., he used a series of of shutters that slid in and out, using grooves. He even flew in scenery from above and introduced coloured lighting by placing candles behind tinted glass.
In 1642 civil war broke out in England and theatres were closed to prevent public disorder. The theatres were closed for 18 years. The introduction of scenery and elaborate stage machinery on the English public stage in the 1660s gave rise to blockbusting semi-opera’s. Many of these were adaptations of other plays, often by Shakespeare.
The licensing act 1737, the act restricted the production of plays to the patent theatres and tightened up the censorship of drama. The act was put in place the Prime Minister Robert Walpole who was concerned that political satire would undermine him.
IN our performance we had to devise a melodrama, using the conventions of melodrama: ‘exaggerated acting, music. We came up with a story by throwing in ideas of typical ‘villain’ type scenarios for example: jack the ripper. We finally came up with the idea of doing a detective styled performance by having the maiden being kidnapped by a villain and having a hero and a sidekick. Overall I think the play we created went well, we managed to entertain our audience and use the conventions of melodrama, I felt that my character showed that he was the main character, but didn’t feel like he was the hero of the performance, I need to work on improving my character by making myself more presentable, so people understand who I am meant to be.