By 1600 London theatres, favor the Globe, could take as much as 3000 human being for the most popular plays. With several theatres providing plays many afternoons, this meant in between 10,000 and 20,000 human being a main going come London theatres. It is a the majority of people! So who were they?

Who involved the theatres?

The answer is ‘just around everyone in London society’ – generally much more men 보다 women, yet all sorts of people. One visitor, in 1617, explained the crowd about the phase as ‘a corridor of porters and also carters’. Others talked the servants and apprentices safety all their spare time there. But wealthier people were in the audience too. In 1607, the Venetian ambassador bought all the many expensive seats for a performance of Shakespeare’s Pericles. Even royalty love watching a play. Lock didn’t go to windy theatres, yet companies that actors to be summoned to execute at the courts of Elizabeth I and James I.

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How lot did it cost?

In open air theatres the cheapest price was only 1 coin which bought you a place among the ‘groundlings’ was standing in the ‘yard’ about the stage. (There to be 240 pennies in £1.) For another penny, you might have a bench seat in the reduced galleries which surrounding the yard. Or because that a coin or for this reason more, you might sit more comfortably ~ above a cushion. The many expensive seats would have remained in the ‘Lord’s Rooms’. Join to the at home theatres began at 6 pence. One coin was just the price the a loaf of bread. Compare the to today’s prices. The low expense was one reason the theatre was so popular.

What walk they get for their money?

The groundlings were an extremely close to the activity on stage. They might buy food and drink during the power – pippins (apples), oranges, nuts, gingerbread and also ale. Yet there were no toilets and the floor castle stood on was probably simply sand, ash or extended in nutshells. Some visitors complained that the pit smelled that garlic and beer and no an excellent citizen would present his challenge there. So paying more got the wealthy a seat under cover, and perhaps a cushioned seat.

The groundlings was standing in the yard an extremely close to the stage during performances, with more expensive seating in the galleries surroundingthem.

Did you know?

Today, the location where friend buy your theatre tickets is dubbed the crate Office. In Shakespeare’s day, as human being came right into the theatre or climbed the steps to their seats, audiences had actually to put their money in a box. So the ar where audiences pay ended up being known as package office.

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Competition for audiences

Theatres had actually to compete for audiences against other London entertainment. These consisted of cock-fighting and bear-baiting i m sorry were took pleasure in by both the poor and the wealthy. In 1591, London theatres to be banned native performing on Thursdays due to the fact that ‘the players carry out recite your plays come the pains of bear-baiting, maintained for she Majesty’s pleasure.


Shakespeare’s world gratefully recognize support v the culture Recovery fund from arts Council England