The archive of Europe and UK's most-established open-air Shakespeare touring theatre company.



Theatre Set-Up presented the plays of Shakespeare in the light of their secret meanings. The "polysemous" ("many levels") nature of the plays have been researched and the material validated at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1996 in Wendy Macphee's Ph.D. thesis at the Shakespeare Institute of the University of Birmingham. This thesis is available for consultation at the Shakespeare Institute, Mason Croft, 5 Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV87 6HP, tel: 01789 293138.

SOME OF THE LEVELS OF MEANING: Political, social, Alchemy, Renaissance Platonism, Theurgy and Rites of Passage, the Qabbala, the Bible, and Celtic Mysticism. The levels vary in the different plays, of which some operate on more levels than others.

In real terms this unique knowledge:

1. Was used in the rehearsal period to make the text clear to the actors who appreciated the ability of the company to explain any illogicalities in the scripts which can not be attributed to realism. Actors, in order to play truly must understand the logic of what they are doing and Theatre Set-Up had the ability to make a clear path for them with the result that their performances were lively, witty, humorous where appropriate and moving.

2. Is the basis of the production which yields a clear uncluttered result, true to the text. As stated by Bill Stone, in 2001 in the Western Morning News:

"They pay particular attention to the play's hidden meanings. This makes for clean-cut productions free of imposed directorial concepts, which allows the audience clear contact with the text".

3. The research on which the production was based was made available to the audience in the play's programme notes.

4. Lectures and talks are delivered by Dr Wendy Macphee and available at a reasonable cost on the POLYSEMOUS, ESOTERIC, ARCANA, OR SECRET MEANINGS IN SHAKESPEARE.