Scenery underwent dramatic changes during this period, constantly affected by the political climate of its time. In September of 1642, Parliament attempted to restrict the performance of plays by issuing an ordinance that prohibited "publike Stage-plays" that were inappropriate to the times.[27] Soon after, Parliament furthered their war on plays by outlawing actors, spectators, and public theatres. Ultimately, the most prominent theatres were destroyed as a result of these ordinances: the Globe in 1644, the Fortune, the Phoenix, the Salisbury Court in 1649, and the Blackfriars in 1655. Performing long and extravagant plays thus became problematic, as they were "an encumbrance to quick getaways; what was needed were short, snappy playlets that could travel light."[28]  As a result, scenery was limited to small and movable props.

          On the other hand, the strong Puritan factions permitted the performances of Musical drama. Davenant, seeing a wonderful opportunity, staged The Seige of Rhodes, filling the stage with "movable scenery (emphasizing spectacle to a degree unprecedented outside the Court)."[29] This was a landmark event for scenery in Early Theatre. After Charles II took the throne in 1660, making theatre permissible again, stage spectacle was taken to an extreme, so much so that certain voices were soon professing a concern. Richard Flecknoe, in 1664, warned the public that whereas the older stages were more simple, allowing the audience to concentrate on the actors, the modern stage "now for cost and ornament are arriv'd to the heighth of Magnificence; but that which makes our Stage the better, makes our Playes the worse perhaps, they striving now to make them more for sight, then hearing; whence that solid joy of the interior is lost."[30] Despite his warnings, elaborate stages continued to flourish through following decade and beyond.

          This new stage spectacle, or distraction (as Flecknoe would have it), was made possible by modern theatrical innovations. Whereas the former background scenery was small, stagnant, and limited, these modern extravagent backgrounds could be easily moved and changed in a matter of seconds. Shutters could be slid on-stage from both sides of the stage in three to five grooves. When all of these shutters were removed and the stage was left open, they revealed the blackcloth at the rear of the theatre. Furthermore, the stage used "serried flats with staggered cutouts" [31] that gave it a certain amount of depth perspective. Wings and boarders at the top also helped to aid the audience's sense of depth, but the most effective devices were the use of candles. Providing more candlelight in the forestage than at the rear, coupled with footlights, serried flats, and movable scenes, the directors were able to create unbelievably realistic and creative scenery. These innovations made it possible for playwrights like Dryden to create The State of Innocence and Fall of Man, presenting the "sun and moon with Lucifer riding on a dark cloud; paradise, with fruit trees cut out on each side and a prospect terminating in walks; and Raphael's apocalyptic vision of war and death, culmination in the descent of heaven, full of Angels and blessed Sprits"[32] in a wonderfully spectacular way.

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