The Ritz looked a great deal shabbier. I doubted whether it had been repainted at all since we were last here. The gold-painted plaster moldings around the stage were dusty and unwashed, and the curtain stained with the rainwater that had leaked in. No other play but Richard III had been perfomed here for over fifteen years, and the theater itself had no company to speak of, just a backstage crew and a prompter. All the actors were pulled from the audience who had been to the play so many times they knew it back to front. Casting was usually done only half an hour before curtain-up.
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (180-81)