While I work on my copy edits of The Masque of a Murderer, I thought I'd post something about Lincoln's Inn Fields Theater, which plays into my third novel. Lincoln's Inn Fields Theater interested me because it was one of the playhouses that King Charles II built in 1661 after he was restored to the throne.
Ironically, it was not originally intended to be a theater, but a tennis court. (You can see the long rows of box seats on either side where an audience would have watched a match). The Lisle Court only became a theater in 1662, before being temporarily closed during the plague in 1665. [There may also have been a murder that occurred there, but somehow that tale has only recently resurfaced :-) ]
In doing my research, I came across the work of Steve Bouler, a theater professional and academic, as well as being an extremely talented designer of virtually reconstructed theatrical playhouses.
It's hard to express how immensely helpful these reconstructions are to a researcher. Since so many of these Renaissance and Restoration playhouses are now gone, we must rely on extant sketches that can be difficult to track down,and even more difficult to interpret.
I know I spend a lot of time looking over faded sketches with teeny print, trying to figure out how everything fits together. But when I came across these reconstructions, I gained a far better sense of how plays would have been staged (and received). You'll understand when you check out Bouler's amazing panoramic reconstructions! Check it out!
Historian. Mystery writer. Researcher. Teacher. Occasional blogger.