The weekend before last I spent the whole of Saturday in the theatre - the Ustinov, which is the Studio attached to the Bath Theatre Royal. Three plays from the Spanish Golden Age - morning, afternoon and evening, with meal breaks and time to wander round a rather dank city. I even squeezed in a little Xmas shopping.
I do this sort of thing because I love the theatre, but I also like to think of it as research. Many of the themes were similar to those used by Shakespeare - girls dressed as boys, unsuitable suitors, fortune hunters, tragic lovers. Okay, not the sort of stuff you necessarily get in modern romantic suspense, but the emotions and the tensions are still the same.
The programme notes (Great extravagance - I actually bought a programme!) listed a number of Varieties of Comedia - categories of play - and one of them particularly appealed to me:
Plays of Intrigue - complicated plots, disguises, and mistaken identities, often cape and sword plays.
Cape and sword plays - I loved that image. My heroes don't wield a sword or possess a cape - although I'm working on that one - but they are that kind of man. And I certainly go for complicated plots. Disguise and mistaken identity? Why not?
See - it was research after all.