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POEL, William

What Is Wrong With The Stage?

London: George Allen, 1920

8vo, pp. 38. Original stiff paper boards in blue dustwrapper, white title label to front panel.

First edition of this treatise by the founder (in 1895) and Director of the Elizabethan Stage Society.

Born before his time William Poel [1852-1934] was a proponent of minimal staging, of 'empty space' productions which focused on the poetry of the text. This put him at odds with near contemporaries such as Henry Irving, whose spectacularly lavish productions, including many plays by Shakespeare, packed out the Lyceum Theatre in London from the 1870s until his death in 1905.

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