And we might take particular note of something else: from the Pentice the Mayor and his Aldermen could survey the affairs of the entire town at once from their central position; and such surveillance, according to Smith, allowed them to conduct their work of making and enforcing laws, of disc ipline and control.
A schematic of the arrangement, seen from above, with a dozen pageants lined up around the area in front of the Pentice might look something like this old diagram:
The scheme is, bizarrely, an almost exact reverse rendering of the scheme for an amphitheatre, with the pageant wagons at the outer edges (at A) rather than an audience on sloped seats, and the central point (at N) representing the officials in the Pentice rather than the stage.
And of course right in front of them were the townsfolk assembled by the Pentice, some eager, some hostile, but in larger numbers than ever before at that site.
The Mayor and his Assembly, from behind the facade of the Pentice, must have watched the plays much as they always did, but especially alert for examples of religious expression that in an earlier age might have proved the town's piety but today could be seen to betray a shameful Popishness.