The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1101 Saturday, 27 May 2000.
Date: Thursday, 25 May 2000 12:25:53 -0500
Subject: FX and Stage Props
Flamboyant (pun intended) staging was nothing new in the 1590s.
Medieval saints plays often had spectacular miracles in them. The Play
of Mary Magdalene in the Digby Manuscript is a case in point. In this
long play (second half of the fifteenth century), two buildings burn
down onstage, one of them after being smitten by fire from heaven.
There are two journeys by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, and Angels
descend from heaven to feed May Magdalene in the wilderness with sacred
bread. In the Play of Saint Paul in the same ms., Saul rides a horse
across the playing area and is struck by lightning from heaven.
Assuming that these two plays were done outdoors, some things (horse and
fire) are simpler but some others may be more difficult (lightning, fire
from heaven, and descending angels).
Yours for flamboyance,