Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire

A review of Anders Lustgarten’s ‘The Secret Theatre’ in The Times Literary Supplement:

At 40 by 55 feet, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is just a little smaller than the hall playhouse established by James Burbage at the Blackfriars in the 1590s. Otherwise, this vertiginous, intimate, almost claustrophobic little theatre, playing to three levels of galleries on three sides, pretty accurately recreates the indoor theatres of the Elizabethan age. The latest play to be premiered at the Sam Wanamaker, however, is not Shakespeare or Ben Jonson (who seldom gets an outing at the Globe), but a brand-new piece set in their era: The Secret Theatre, in which Anders Lustgarten explores the dark arts of intelligence practised by Elizabeth I’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham.

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