Magic on the Early English Stage investigates the performance of magical tricks, illusions, effects and their staged appearance in the medieval and early English theatre. Performers who created such magic were not known as conjurors, as we might refer to them today, but as jugglers. Records concerning jugglers on the medieval stage have been hitherto misunderstood or misapplied. These references to jugglers are re-examined in the light of discussions of 'feats of activity' that also include tumbling, vaulting and 'dancing on the rope'; appearances and disappearances of the 'Now you see it, now you don't' variety; and stage versions of these concepts; magic through sound in terms of ventriloquy and sound through pipes; mechanical images and puppets; and stage tricks. Information that has remained dormant since original publication is discussed in relation to jugglers such as Thomas Brandon, the King's Juggler, and William Vincent, alias 'Hocus Pocus'.
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(228mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Author Biography - Philip Butterworth
Philip Butterworth is Reader in Medieval Theatre at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds. He is the author of Theatre of Fire: Special Effects in Early English and Scottish Theatre, and has published widely in journals on the subject of Medieval Theatre, including essays in 'Medieval English Theatre'. He is currently working, with Joslin McKinney, on The Cambridge Introduction to Scenography, to be published in 2006.