Performing the Queen's Men

Famous Victories : The Sick Chair

Further Investigations

The Queen’s Men happily relied on the imaginations of their audience. The parameters of the SQM experiment encouraged us to do the same. Facing limited financial resources and the challenge of touring the plays to different locations and performing them in a variety of stage configurations encouraged us to look for simple staging solutions. Elaborate set pieces were avoided wherever possible and we put faith in the audience’s power to imagine. At times, as in the example of the King’s sick chair, the text seemed to call for a set piece but we tried to keep such pieces to a minimum and to re-use items whenever possible in the interest of economy and ease of touring.

At the same time, when the plays seemed to call for stage spectacle we had to find ways to satisfy those expectations. Explore such an example in King Leir.

Of all the plays, Friar Bacon made the most demands on company resources. The battle of magic between Friar Bacon and the German necromancer Vandermast explicitly calls for spectacular stage effects. Examine the text and watch our video.

Alternatively, it was possible to find simple solutions to Bacon's earlier magic.