Manipulation of Theatrical Audience Size

Non-existent Plays and Murderous Lenders

in Critical Survey
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  • 1 Director, The Anaphora Literary Press, USA
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Thomas Nashe’s’ satirical ‘ten thousand’ attendees at a London performance exaggeration is similarly absurd to most previous studies of audience size during the British Renaissance. These claims are countered in this article with a realistic calculation of the maximum quantity of people the described dimensions of the licensed London theatres could have accommodated. Claims that a troupe could have seen peak sales when it was forced to close during a plague are also reconsidered. And the failure of the English dramatic genre to reach its neighbouring Welsh market is questioned as indicative of the rarity of this mode of entertainment in comparison with the popularity claimed for it in puffing self-reviews of plays in the first post-origin decades. The ease with which a false belief in popularity could be generated is consistent with the Ghostwriting Workshop’s self-promotion of their published books. This article pulls together pieces of evidence to explain the literary, fiscal and political misdeeds committed by this Workshop in their quest for profit and fame.