Theatres Through the Ages

Theatres Through the Ages


Occasionally, when you go to see a play – back in the days when going to see a play was an option – your mind wanders in the interval (or at worst, in the middle of act two) and you look around you at the auditorium. Why are theatre buildings designed the way they are? Do old ones really need all that gilded cornicing? And why have boxes?

These questions and more should be answered by this look at the architecture of playhouses and how they have evolved from Elizabethan bear-pits to concrete bunkers via the monumental pomp of Bayreuth. With any luck, the time-honoured theatrical tradition of not having nearly enough loos will also be explored.


The history of the development of theatres and how the visions of architects and playwrights came to be realised, from the popular Elizabethan stages to the pomp of Bayreuth.