Saturday, July 30


The Elizabethan stage was like the attic I was describing in Hamburg, it was a neutral open platform – just a place with some doors – and so it enabled the dramatist effortlessly to whip the spectator through an unlimited succession of illusions, covering, if he chose, the entire physical world. It has also been pointed out that the nature of the permanent structure of the Elizabethan playhouse, with its flat open arena and its large balcony and its second smaller gallery, was a diagram of the universe as seen by the sixteenth-century audience and playwright – the gods, the court and the people – three levels, separate and yet often intermingling – a stage that was a perfect philosopher's machine... The primary fact is that this theatre not only allowed the playwright to roam the world, it also allowed him free passage from the world of action to the world of inner impressions.

-- Peter Brook The Empty Space