Given the destruction of the thirty years war moving backwards and forwards across the Germanic and Flemish states of Europe between 1618 and 1648 it is a wonder that any art could flourish at all but in the Netherlands, there was something of an opposite effect.
A word on the lack of examples from the Netherlands in this period and a reminder of the lasting influence of ‘Everyman’.
The political and religious landscape that enables the Dutch Golden Age, a period of trade and expansion.
The slow emergence of Dutch theatre from the medieval period.
The influence of Italian literary theatre can be seen in later works, but if there is one form that infiltrated the general consciousness of theatrical comedy on the continent it is the Commedia Dell’arte.
A definition of what we mean by Commedia Dell’arte as it emerged in the Italian renaissance, and the difficulties with this.
Professionalism, comedy, masks and the degree of improvisation, or not.
Theories about the origins of the Commedia Dell’arte.
From Roman mime and pantomime
From non-religious medieval drama
From religious medieval drama
The impact of the system of troupe patronage in the development of the Commedia Dell’arte and how actors escaped from […]
As things moved on in the early renaissance art – painting and sculpture – led the way and theatre soon followed. Artists tried to inject more realism into their work, showing their subjects as they really were, or as close as they could get. The colours of clothes, skin tones, fruit, countryside scenery and, well, whatever the artist’s subject was, became more subtle and realistic as artists looked at the different impacts of viewpoint, light and light sources in paintings and strived to show the world as it really was. The discovery of an understanding of one thing in particular made those […]
A discussion of a sample of the plays by Lope de Vega
The Gardener’s Dog: A Comedy The meaning of the title, a plot summary, the major themes.
Punishment Without Vengeance: A Tragedy. A plot summary, it’s debt to Seneca, the ironic triangle of anti-heroes, the question of incest, and the violence of the honour culture. The historical context of the play.
Realism in the plays.
The plays of intrigue
The role of the leading female character, the ‘Dama’
Sheep Well. The plot Summary. The communist reading of the play. Countryside Vs the city. The satisfaction of honour.
The Life of Lope de Vega, greatest dramatist of the Spanish Renaissance Theatre. He had a very full life which was not just confined to writing plays, but his output was prolific on a scale that has not been matched before or since. This is his story.
Then a short overview of what was special about his plays, his attitude to Aristotle and his prescriptions on the use of poetry.
A word on the inevitable comparison with Shakespeare.
Continuing the story of the development of theatre through the early Spanish renaissance via the life and works of the playwrights. With apologies for the slightly raspy ‘post-covid’ throat at the time of recording. I hope it does not spoil your enjoyment of the episode.
Gil Vicente, the only Portuguese playwright of the period, but one who worked across the Spanish peninsular and produced influential works.
Lope de Rueda took theatre to the masses and produced the first truly commercial theatre of the period.
Alonso de la Vega, an acting pulp of Rueda who advanced the mixing of secular and religious themes.
In this third part of the story of theatre in the Italian Renaissance the counter reformation overshadows the work of playwrights.
We conclude the story of Giovan Maria Cecchi with a look at his later sacred drama that still managed to amuse and entertain.
The plays of Leone de’Sommi are mostly lost thanks to a library fire, but his surviving plays are of interest as we see a Jewish playwright operating both in and for the culture of his community and in the context of broader renaissance theatre.
The review concludes with the work of Giambattista della Porta, a Neapolitan playwright who […]
Continuing from the last episode with more comedic dramatists from the Italian renaissance we meet Angelo Beolco who, under the tutorage of Ariosto, created, and became synonymous with, the character of Ruzzante.
Then on to Alessandro Piccolomini and Giovan Maria Cecchi, who both left indelible traces on the development of comedy in the sixteenth century.
In the first part of season four we bridge the gap between the Medieval and Renaissance periods with a mention of the key artistic movements and historical events that can be used to mark the beginning of the period.
How theatre looked back to the rediscovered plays of Ancient Greece and Rome and the writings of Vitruvius on Theatre Architecture.
The earliest plays of the period, showing how the Renaissance got started in the late 1300s.
A word on the development of Opera and Ballet.
For the chance to see Lazarus Theatre production of Salome by Oscar Wilde on line until 5th December […]