The New Fortune Theatre: That Vast Open Stage
Edited by Ciara Rawnsley and Robert White
The New Fortune Theatre at The University of Western Australia is unique as an exact reconstruction of the Fortune Playhouse built in London in 1600, the year Hamlet was performed at the rival Globe playhouse.
This makes the New Fortune a compelling resource for research, teaching, and performance, offering a stage on which ‘original practices’ can enlighten us about the nature of early modern drama’s capacity to create strong emotional effects in audiences in an intimate but imposing venue. Built in 1964, the year of Shakespeare’s 400th birthday, the New Fortune has generated its own eventful history. This book traces its romantic origins, and debates the scholarly issues raised by such an historically significant theatre. Essays by international scholars, critics, and practitioners who have all been involved with the New Fortune are richly illustrated by rare archival images. The book will appeal to general readers and avid theatregoers, and it is also an invaluable work of scholarship in theatre history and the history of emotions.
Praise for The New Fortune Theatre:
This is a history and celebration of UWA’s open-air semi-reconstruction of the Fortune Theatre of 1600. The book brings together essays old and new (including a comic account of how the building’s purpose was broken to the architect), with valuable reflections by those who have acted or directed in it. As is to be expected from UWA’s link to the Centre for the History of the Emotions, there is attention to the stage’s capacity for affecting the audience, and also an implicit plea for the value of such amenities in a philistine funding environment. Strongest of all, though, is the evocativeness of many of the essays: we hear the peacocks, and feel the Australian sun burning the feet of the valiant student actors.PROFESSOR LISA HOPKINS, SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY