Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

Whitehall Playhouse Theatre

Picture of a Playhouse

Picture of a Playhouse

The Whitehall Theatre

The Whitehall theatre was the elite of all Elizabethan theatres. The building was designed by Indigo Jones who would later design the cockpit theatre. Queen Elizabeth I was a great patron of the theatre and she enjoyed watching the latest plays of the era.

The Whitehall Theatre was sumptuous and it was here in the comfort and warmth of this very special theater that the Queen and her courtiers would command the acting troupes to perform the great plays of the era. The Paul's Boys (groups of young choristers from St. Paul's Cathedral, who also performed plays) were known to be a particular favourite of Queen Elizabeth and played at the Whitehall Theatre.

Interesting Facts and Information about Elizabethan Playhouses
The following interesting facts about the Elizabethan indoor playhouses, such as Whitehall, provide an insight into the development of the modern theatre:

  • Elizabethan playhouses, such as Whitehall, provided indoor venues for the production of Elizabethan plays
  • The venues were smaller and roofed
  • Suitable for winter and evening productions
  • Admittance to the Playhouses were more expensive than the other types of Elizabethan theatres
  • Attending a public theater performance would cost between 1 to 3 pennies, but admission to a private, indoor, theatre cost between 2 to 26 pennies
  • Indoor Playhouses were no so much private but exclusive - the cost prohibited the attendance of most common folk
  • Everyone in the private theatre audience was given a seat - the higher the price of admission, the more comfortable the seat was
  • The Audience capacity was up to 500 people
  • The Playhouses were more comfortable and luxurious than other theatres
  • The Great Halls in existing, prestigious, buildings were used as playhouses and venues for plays
  • The indoor Playhouses were lighted by candles so performances could be staged in the evening
  • The use of candles led to the introduction of intervals when burnt down candles were replaced
  • Food and drink was served, or sold, during the intervals
  • Music and songs was strongly featured - the acoustics of indoor theatres, such as Whitehall Playhouse, lent themselves to this effect
  • Beautiful scenery were introduced - as this was not open to the open air elements this could be re-used over and over again
  • Costumes tended to be quite sumptuous
  • The plays were selected to suit the indoor venues - the emphasis was on the words of the play rather than noisy special effects

Whitehall - An Indoor Elizabethan Playhouses
The information and facts regarding the development of indoor Elizabethan playhouses, such as Whitehall, provide an interesting insight into the development of the modern theatre.

Elizabethan Theatre
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