Doctor Faustus was written for performance. If, as we read, we are to imagine for ourselves the kind of performance that the authors envisaged when they wrote the play, we must imagine that performance as taking place in a typical Elizabethan theatre. No doubt we should prefer to imagine it in the particular Elizabethan theatre for which Marlowe wrote. But we do not know enough about that particular playhouse to be able to do so. Even describing a typical Elizabethan playhouse is hazardous enough in view of the gaps in our knowledge and the differences which undoubtedly existed between actual examples. The attempt must be made, however, if Doctor Faustus is to be imagined in anything like the theatrical setting for which it was designed. A full account would necessarily be somewhat inconclusive on the numerous points on which scholars disagree; many of its statements would have to be highly qualified. What follows is a short account, with as few ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, and as great a clarity and definiteness, as seems permissible.