Medieval English Drama: Performance and Spectatorship

Medieval English Drama: Performance and Spectatorship

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Medieval English Drama provides a fresh introduction to the dramatic and festive practices of England in the late Middle Ages. The book places particular emphasis on the importance of the performance contexts of these events, bringing to life a period before permanent theatre buildings when performances took place in a wide variety of locations and had to fight to attract and maintain the attention of an audience. Showing the interplay between dramatic and everyday life, the book covers performances in convents, churches, parishes, street processions and parades, and in particular distinguishes between modes of outdoor and indoor performance. Katie Normington aids the reader to a fuller understanding of these early English dramatic practices by explaining the significance of the place of performance, the particularities of spectatorship for each event and how the conventions of the form of drama were manipulated to address its reception. Audiences considered range from cloistered members, congregations and parish members to urban citizens, nobles and royalty. Undergraduate students of literature of this period will find this an approachable and illuminating guide.