Playgoing in Shakespeare's London by Andrew Gurr (University of Reading)
This is a newly revised edition of Andrew Gurr's classic account of the people for whom Shakespeare wrote his plays. Gurr assembles evidence from the writings of the time to describe the physical structure of the playhouses, the services provided in the auditorium, the cost of a ticket and a cushion, the size of the crowds, the smells, the pickpockets, and the collective feelings generated by the plays. As well as revising and adding new material which has emerged since the second edition, Gurr develops new sections. He considers the difference between Shakespearean and modern thinking about early staging, the complex historical process which established the permanent playhouses, and the development of a distinctly different acting style in the open-air playhouses from that of the indoor halls. Fifty new entries have been added to the list of playgoers and there are a dozen fresh quotations about the experience of playgoing.