Popular Theatre and the Red Bull: governing the pen to the capacity of the stage: reading the Red Bull and Clerkenwell.
Each of the essays printed here deals, in its own way, with questions of evidence and with assumptions about the Red Bull and Clerkenwell, to which potent scholarly traditions have attached themselves. The Red Bull, which was built between 1605 and 1607 and was in use by autumn 1607, (2) is of ten stereotyped as the low-status home of low-brow entertainment. In The Jacobean and Caroline Stage, G.E. Bentley devotes a separate section to 'The Reputation of the Red Bull Theatre', describing it as the 'least reputable' of the Jacobean and Caroline theatres and asserting that from early in its existence 'violence and vulgarity seem to be the usual association with the Red Bull'. (3) It has of ten been assumed that theatre companies must have been desperate to escape from Clerkenwell, with its rowdy and predominantly citizen audiences. As recent work by Eva Griffth and Mark Bayer demonstrates, however, these narratives are at least in part exaggerated. (4) There was undoubtedly unrest at the Red Bull from time to time--as was the case for all of the large amphitheatres and, occasionally, the indoor theatres too; unfortunately, however, scholars have tended to take jibes from the writers working at other theatres at face value, and have rarely looked in detail at the plays performed there.
One interesting aspect of the Red Bull's reputation is the way in which companies and dramatists working at the theatre at different times are aware that such a reputation exists but are confident that it should not be attached to them. The prologue to The Two Merry Milkmaids, performed by the Company of the Revels at the Red Bull around 1619-20, entreats
All that are hither come, To expect no noyse of Guns, Trumpets, nor Drum, Nor Sword and Targuet; but to heare Sence and Words, Fitting the Matter that the Scene affords. So that the Stage being reform'd, and free From the lowd Clamors it was wont to bee, Turmoyl'd with Battailes; you I hope will cease Your dayly Tumults, and with vs wish Peace. (5)
The prologue asserts that the spectators have been badly trained by the material they have been provided with so far, and that a different form of drama will (or should) be reflected in less rowdy behaviour. Similarly, John Tatham's prologue spoken upon removing of the late Fortune Players to the Bull, written in 1640, claims that the company, 'Disdaining Fortunes mutability', hope for the Red Bull audience's
kinde acceptance; then wee'l sing (Protected by your smiles our ever-spring;) As pleasant as if wee had still possest Our lawfull Portion out of Fortunes brest: Onely wee would request you to forbeare Your wonted custome, banding Tyle, or Peare, Against our curtaines, to allure us forth. I pray take notice these are of more Worth, Pure Naples silk, not Worstead; we have ne're An Actour here has mouth enough to teare Language by th'eares; this forlorne Hope shall be By Us refin'd from such grosse injury. (6)
Both of these prologues were written for incoming companies who are somewhat nervous about the reputation of the Red Bull audience. Each labours to put a safe distance between 'us' and 'them', just as George Wither in a 1613 poem aims to distance himself from a foolish poetaster whose 'poetry is such as he can cull / From plays he heard at Curtain or at Bull'. (7) The reputations of the Red Bull and its audience were in development from a remarkably early point in the theatre's history, but they were not stable or static. Depending on the needs of the writer the Red Bull can even be linked with the indoor theatres. In a dedicatory verse addressed to William Davenant in the quarto edition of The Just Italian, for instance, Thomas Carew excoriates 'th'untun'd Kennell who 'still slight / All that exceeds Red Bull, and Cockpit flight in his attempt to defend Davenant's play, which failed in performance at Blackfriars. (8)
Distinctions between the Red Bull and other theatres were not as fixed as some would have liked, and companies, dramatists and actors swapped between playhouses throughout the period. The Red Bull's occupants between 1607 and 1642 included Queen Anna's Men, Prince Charles's (I) Men (patronised by the future Charles I), the Company of the Revels (a reorganised group of erstwhile Queen's Men, formed after Anna of Denmark's death in 1619), a 'Red Bull' company, Prince Charles's (II) Men (patronised by the future Charles II), and, finally, another 'Red Bull' company that had previously played at the Fortune. Queen Anna's Men and Prince Charles's (I) Men moved between the Red Bull and the indoor Cockpit playhouse, Prince Charles's (II) Men played at the indoor Salisbury Court, moving to the Red Bull and later to the Fortune, and the 'Red Bull' company moved from the Fortune to accommodate them. Philip Massinger, a playwright of ten associated with the King's Men at the Globe and Blackfriars, wrote for the Red Bull near the beginning and near the end of his long career, (9) while Thomas Heywood's plays were successful at Red Bull and Cockpit alike.
In one particularly intriguing example of interaction between a Red Bull company and another troupe, on 13 and 14 January 1612 Queen Anna and Prince Henry were entertained 'By the Queenes players and the Kings men' at Greenwich. The combined company performed 'The Siluer Aiedg: and ... Lucre<ce>'. (10) Our standard hierarchy of companies might lead us to expect that any joint performance of the King's and Queen's Men would see the King's Men take the lead and the play(s) performed be taken from their repertory, which at that time included Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Cymbeline and The Tempest, and Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster and A King and No King. This does not seem, however, to have been the case: the two plays, Thomas Heywood's The Silver Age and The Rape of Lucrece, were both popular Red Bull productions. Although the selection of plays might have been influenced by the fact that the plays were performed before the queen and prince and not before the king, George Buc, the Master of the Revels, must have thought these plays suitable for court performance.
The Silver Age in particular would benefit from the enlarged cast even if court performance restricted the extraordinary special effects recorded in the quarto text of 1613. As Marta Straznicky notes in her essay below, the Red Bull repertory was 'famously spectacle-driven'. This reputation is perhaps unsurprising: amphitheatres such as the Red Bull were well suited to large-cast plays and were well-equipped for the production of special effects. Eva Griffith suggests, indeed, that the Red Bull may have been particularly well suited to the use of fireworks, which are prominent in Heywood's Ages plays and Dekker's If It Be Not Good the Devil Is In It, because it seems to have been made from brick, not wood. (11) Spectacle is not necessarily unsophisticated in its use, and much Red Bull dramaturgy depends on an audience which is theatrically literate and able to 'read' spectacle correctly.
The kinds of issues relating to evidence, location, audience, reputation and technique that I have raised briefly here are tackled in greater depth in the essays which make up the main body of this Issues in Review segment. In 'Multi-Day Performance and the London Clerkenwell Play', Anne Lancashire takes another look at the evidence for performances of the London Clerkenwell play, or Skinner's Well play, in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. In particular, responding to Lawrence M. Clopper's recent questioning of evidence relating to the play, she explores whether this is likely to have been, at least in some years, a major production of plays following new and old testament narratives, performed over more than one day. Having revisited documentary evidence--some of it found in royal payments, some in chronicle histories--she suggests that interpretation will always be, to some extent at least, in the eyes of the beholder or dependent on differing 'plausibility contexts'. If a theatre historian thinks that a multi-day play is plausible, she will interpret the available evidence in different ways to a historian who believes it implausible.
As a response to this potential impasse, Lancashire explores the grounds on which a belief in the plausibility of the multi-day Clerkenwell play might be based: 'Would Londoners around 1400 have been likely to have produced and watched a multi-day play?--or would such a production have been so unlikely as to cause us to look at other possible meanings of the Clerkenwell play records?' She therefore looks at the play in a variety of contexts: other major theatre events in London, such as royal coronation entries, the London Midsummer Watch and entertainments for the visits of foreign dignitaries; the prevalence of multi-day biblical drama on the continent and in Cornwall; and the availability of performers and finances in London. She also puts forward the intriguing suggestion that the Clerkenwell play may at times have served as a prelude to major royal events, expanded on an occasional basis in the same way as the London Watch was expanded into a 'greater Watch'.
John Astington's 'Playing the Man: Acting at the Red Bull and Fortune' juxtaposes the Red Bull's repertory, personnel and acting style with that of its neighbour, the Fortune. Taking a sceptical attitude towards the 'cultural fashion' of condescension towards these theatres--in the seventeenth and the twentieth centuries alike--he traces continuities and discontinuities in the companies operating in them. There are striking continuities, for instance, between the performances of Edward Alleyn at the Fortune around the turn of the seventeenth century, when he returned to the Admiral's Men to revive roles such as Hieronimo in The Spanish Tragedy, and Richard Fowler's performances in some of the same roles in the 1630s. Astington suggests that Alleyn's comeback seasons 'set a fashion for retro' in the northern playhouses, with audiences demanding a particular, perhaps to some eyes old fashioned, performance style; the actors were perfectly capable of performing in different styles, but were deliberately preserving 'a broader, showier, declamatory tradition'. His account of the interactions between repertory and performance styles is congruent with the work of Martin Butler, who suggested in his seminal book Theatre and Crisis 1632-1642 that we ought to pay more attention to revivals and to the retention of older styles. As Butler notes, '[b]y concentrating on those elements in a period which to hindsight appear progressive we subtly but inevitably misrepresent the way things looked to contemporaries'. (12)
On the other hand, the deduction that the Red Bull and the Fortune found success only through aping older performance styles and dramatic modes is an exaggeration. These theatres may have been 'guardians of old dramatic and theatrical traditions', but, as Astington points out, they could and did appeal to a range of different markets, using different playing styles and performing different kinds of plays. Prince Charles's Men, for instance, began their career at the Salisbury Court, a small indoor theatre, and their move to the Red Bull around 1633 was not necessarily a move 'downmarket'; they continued to perform before royalty throughout the 1630s and there is no reason to believe that they ceased performing plays that had been successful at Salisbury Court.
In 'The Red Bull Repertory in Print, 1605-1660', Marta Straznicky's concern is with the 'cultural work' performed by the attribution of a printed play to the Red Bull. The essay thus tackles one of the major issues raised by Scott McMillin in his introduction to 'Reading the Elizabethan Acting Companies', in which he suggested that 'the textual problems which have tantalized Shakespeareans since the eighteenth century could be opened to new solutions if the field were widened to include all the texts of the Chamberlain's/King's Men' (112). She focuses, however, on a more problematic print canon than that of the Chamberlain's/King's Men. Scholars have suggested that publishers were reluctant to advertise this playhouse on their title pages, but Red Bull attributions in fact compare favourably with attributions to the Globe or Fortune. There was, it seems, a readership for a 'Red Bull' repertory in print. Moreover, the appearance of features such as continuous printing, title page attributions to authors, Latin on title pages, dedicatory or prefatory epistles, lists of dramatis personae, and regular division into acts suggest that the printers of Red Bull plays treated them as having literary status. This raises a number of intriguing questions. Why were Red Bull audiences so of ten presented as unsophisticated and uneducated? Who did read the Red Bull plays? Was there any connection between the audience of the print and theatrical repertories?
Straznicky analyses design and typographical elements in printed plays, re-examines attitudes towards the Red Bull audiences in the theatre and in the print-shop, and draws on evidence of the ownership of Red Bull playbooks. Rather than seeing a 'high' print audience displacing a 'popular' theatre audience, she suggests that there may have been a significant cross-over between the two. She develops the work of recent critics such as Zachary Lesser, suggesting that while some publishers may have created a literary identity for plays which originally failed in performance, Red Bull plays instead present text and performance as complementary. With their detailed stage directions, theatrically oriented prefatory material, and carefully arranged songs, Red Bull quartos serve as encapsulations of performance, rather than displacements of it.
Using as an organising principle the theatre and locality rather than a single company creates some distinctive opportunities for this 'Issues in Review'. By looking across different periods and repertories we can present a broader view of the ways in which locations, specific social contexts, and cultural fashions all played their part in the production and consumption of drama in Clerkenwell. As Lancashire reminds us, the Red Bull in the early seventeenth century was continuing a tradition of large-scale performance in Clerkenwell. Indeed, this theatre's repertory seems to look back to the biblical drama of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in its inclusion of a large number of saints' plays in the years 1618-22. (13) Focusing on Clerkenwell and the Red Bull also enables us to unpick some of the stereotypical attitudes towards locality and theatre that circulated from at least the middle of the seventeenth century. As Astington argues, we do not want to lose sight of the legends surrounding the Red Bull, but we also need concentrate our efforts on increasing the amount of 'reliable evidence' available to us.
To conclude my contribution to this Issues in Review segment, I want to pick up a particular question raised by our focus on theatre and locality: what happens to the playwrights? McMillin's brief manifesto for a repertory approach, quoted at the start of this essay, is telling on this point. His tongue-in-cheek assertion that this approach will place plays 'in a social network to which both the players and their audiences--perhaps even the playwrights--belonged' suggests the reluctance of many scholars to acknowledge fully the collaborative contexts within dramatists worked. As he states explicitly, a repertory approach 'does not mean neglecting the playwrights', but it does mean de-centring them and approaching their contribution from other angles and through other concerns.
As a way of thinking about what a Red-Bull-centred approach might mean for a individual playwright, I intend to take a brief look at one figure from the playhouse's long history. Thomas Jordan, born around 1617, first appears as an actor with the Children of the Revels, a company originally set up as a children's troupe and a training ground for future King's Men, which began to perform at Salisbury Court circa 1630. (14) His first play, Money is an Ass (c 1631-2), was written before he was fifteen, seemingly for production by this company. Jordan stayed with the Revels Children after they were reorganised into something closer to the standard adult company model, during which period they relocated to the Fortune and then, in 1633, back to the Salisbury Court. He took the role of Lepida in their performances of Nathanael Richards's Messallina (c 1634) and appeared in a list of King's Revels performers refused permission to play at Norwich on 10 March 1635. (15) During the long closure of the theatres from May 1636 to October 1637, he appeared as the muse Calliope in an entertainment designed for King Charles and Queen Henrietta Maria by Thomas Bushell. (16) He also prepared his first publication, a collection of non-dramatic verse entitled Poetical Varieties, which appeared in late 1637. It is possible that he was involved with the troupe of actors who appeared at John Ogilby's Werburgh Street playhouse in Dublin, which was established around 1635-6. (17) In 1640, Jordan published dedicatory verses for Messallina and for Thomas Rawlins's The Rebellion, another King's Revels play, and by 1641 he was working as a dramatist for the Red Bull.
His second extant play, The Walks of Islington and Hogsdon, with the Humours of Woodstreet Compter was licensed for performance at the Bull, 'upon several reformations and not otherwise', in August 1641. (18) The printed edition of the play published in 1657 appends to the main text Henry Herbert's final licence: 'This Comedy, called, The Walks of Islington and Hogsden, With the Humours of Woodstreet-Compter, may be Acted: This 2. August, 1641'. (19) Its inclusion may have been accidental, but would have had its own significance in 1657, particularly for the royalist Jordan, who had published anti-parliamentarian tracts including Rules to Know a Loyal King From a Disloyal Subject (1642). It was performed by the 'Red Bull' company that had moved from the Fortune only a couple of years earlier and, according to the 1657 title page, 'it was publikely Acted 19. days together, with extraordinary Applause'. In his dedication to Richard Cheyney, the author with (mock?) humility writes that in the 'jocund days' prior to the cessation of regular playing, 'this Comedy gained the success of a good Censure, and received more Acceptation then I thought it merited' (A2r).
Theatre historians have of ten doubted Jordan's claims--G.E. Bentley, for instance, remarks on his 'well-known mendacity' (20)--but it is not implausible that this play was as popular as the dramatist claimed. Although it is little-read today, The Walks of Islington is a fine example of what we tend to think of as 'popular theatre', and it is not untypical of the kinds of comedies performed at the Red Bull and the Fortune in the Jacobean and Caroline periods. Funny, unpretentious and, in places, cheerfully vulgar, this is a cleverly constructed piece of entertainment in which a group of gallants and citizens move through a series of clearly delineated locations in the northern suburbs of London. The first stage direction requires that characters 'Enter as at the Sarazens Head in Islington' (A4r), and the action relocates successively to the King's Head in Hoxton and the Harrow Tavern in Little Wood Street before ending up, as the play's title promises, in the debtors' prison in Wood Street. (21) Fittingly for a play with so many tavern scenes, there is much singing, on-stage music and dancing, and there are also some neat parodic references to other plays current on the stage in the 1630s, such as when the ridiculously jealous husband, Trimwel, complains that his 'jealousie hath yet no occular proof' (C2r). (22) Jordan and the Red Bull company seem to have been rightly proud of the intricate plot-lines of The Walks of Islington, at the conclusion of which a dead man is brought back to life and not one but two long-absent disguised brothers are revealed. After describing the play's characters, some of which may have been based on real individuals, the Prologue says, 'Here my Commission ends, lest I betray / The Plot, and shew the Clock-work of the Play' (A3v).
Jordan seems to have returned to the Red Bull for surreptitious performances in the 1640s and 1650s. The epilogue to his play Love Hath Found his Eyes, or Distractions, printed in A Royal Arbor of Loyal Poesie (1663), contains references which seem to fit the period between 1642 and 1648 better than the 1660s. (23) Cupid, who speaks the epilogue, tells the audience,
All our distractions now are out of date, I would they were so too in Church and State, That Englands King and People were at rest Without confounding eithers interest; That jealousies and fears may never more Let loyal hearts lie weltring in their gore; That so the God of Love may of ten view This Island and present himself to you. (24)
Jordan is also thought to have been the 'Tom Iay' mentioned in a ballad in Sportive Wit (1656) as being among a group of actors arrested at the Red Bull on an occasion when Londoners 'Would needs go see a Play, / But they saw a great rout at the red Bull'. (25)
The Red Bull, the Cockpit, and the Salisbury Court were the only Caroline playhouses to be re-utilised in 1659-60; in the first half of 1660 the Cockpit was used by John Rhodes' company, and the Salisbuty Court by William Beeston's, while the 'scattered Remnant of severall of . [the old] Houses, upon King Charles's Restoration, Fram'd a Company' which played at the Red Bull. (26) Jordan testified in 1665 that this company had come together 'aboute the end of the yeare 1659 & begining of the yeare 1660' and that he was 'then booke keeper to them'. (27) Love Hath Found his Eyes seems to have been performed at the Red Bull in May 1660; he also wrote a number of prologues and epilogues for plays performed that year, including the famous prologue for the first woman to play Desdemona. (28) The Walks of Islington itself may have been performed in the 1660s. Despite William Van Lennep's protest that this is '[c]ertainly not the type of play that would have amused Charles II and his courtiers!', (29) a 1663 reissue of the 1657 quarto introduces a prologue 'to the KING' which contrasts performances pre- and post-Restoration:
We have been so perplext with Gun and Drum, Look to your Hats and Clokes, the Red-coats come. D'amboys is routed, Hotspur quits the field, Falstaffs out-filch'd, all in Confusion yield, Even Auditor and Actor, what before Did make the Red Bull laugh, now makes him roar. We curse the Misery in which our Trade is, And are imprison'd, but our large siz'd Ladies (Thinking to 'scape them) are torn by the throats And like Wine Porters put in Petty-coats) Dragg'd to the Muse for Plotters; But Your Presence Hath nullified their power, and given us Essence. (30)
Jordan may have still been involved with the company in July 1661, when they performed in Oxford a number of plays associated with pre-Civil War Red Bull companies: Greene's Tu Quoque, The Milkmaids (probably The Two Merry Milkmaids), Daborne's The Poor Man's Comfort and Heywood's The Rape of Lucrece. (31)
Although the Desdemona prologue has been much discussed by Shakespeareans and by scholars of the Restoration theatre, they have of ten overlooked Jordan's earlier career. Jordan had not only written female roles to be performed by boy actors at the Salisbury Court and Red Bull, but had himself worked as a 'boy actress'. He was thus intriguingly placed to talk about the introduction of female performers. A series of prologues and epilogues in A Royal Arbour of Loyal Poesie show him engaging with the practical problems raised by disruptions to the theatre industry and the break-down of pre-Civil War systems for apprenticing and training boy actors. In 'A Prologue to the King' he asks the audience to suspend their disbelief and to accept the actors in their female roles: 'We have play'd all our Women into Men [...] They'l rather be taken for Amazons / Then tender maids'. (32) A few pages later we find the two performance traditions--the residual use of boy actors and the emerging use of female performers--in neat juxtaposition on the printed page. An epilogue for Fletcher's The Tamed Tamed, 'spoken by the Tamer, a woman' on 24 June 1660--apparently spoken by a male actor in the role of Maria, Petruchio's second wife--is printed opposite a 'A Prologue to introduce the first Woman that came to Act on the Stage in the Tragedy, call'd The Moor of Venice' (C2v-C3r), usually dated to 8 December 1660. (33) This latter prologue, like 'A Prologue to the King emphasises the deficiencies of the male performers:
Our women are defective, and so siz'd You'd think they were some of the Guard disguiz'd; For (to speak truth) men act, that are between Forty and fifty, wenches of fifteen; With bone so large, and nerve to incomplyant, When you call Desdemona, enter Giant; (C3v)
Although obviously exaggerated, Jordan's negative comments on the standards of boy actors demonstrate not only an attempt on the part of the theatre companies to naturalise female performance, but also, perhaps, a professional pride which has been affronted by the sub-standard work of the younger generation.
'Reading' Jordan's career from a Red Bull perspective allows us to bring together aspects of his career that would otherwise be difficult to reconcile, divided as they are by generic, institutional and period boundaries. As actor, dramatist, and book-keeper, his various roles allow us to keep in view the kinds of collaborative interactions that must have been common in the seventeenth-century theatre. His career provides an example of the interactions between companies, actors, dramatists, and playhouses in the 1630s and early 1640s, and of continuities in the performance and writing of plays between the 1630s and the 1660s. Not only was he involved in the pre- and post-Civil War theatrical industries, but he also seems to have been writing and, perhaps, performing at the Red Bull during the shadowy and of ten overlooked period between 1642 and 1660. He is, like that other pre-Civil War survivor, William Davenant, a valuable reminder that theatrical production did not cease in the 1640s and 1650s. (34)
As the preceding discussion has suggested, Jordan's career, like that of other actor-dramatists such as Samuel Rowley, William Rowley or William Shakespeare, is particularly suited to an approach which views companies or playhouses as 'organising units of dramatic production'. I would suggest, however, that even those very few dramatists who had no role with theatre companies other than to write plays can be profitably assessed from such an angle. As the preface to the Red Bull play The Two Merry Milkmaids suggests, 'Every Writer must gouerne his Penne according to the Capacitie of the Stage he writes too, both in the Actor and the Auditor (A2r). Writers--even those with an eye to publication and literary immortality--must, in the act of writing a play, consider the bodies and capabilities of their actors, the facilities and special dynamics of their playhouses, the social contexts of their locations, and the tastes and viewpoints of their audiences.
(1) Early Theatre 4 (2001), 111.
(2) The earliest evidence of the playhouse seems to be Martin Slater's petition against a prohibition against the building of a theatre, thought to have been written before 31 May 1605. See Herbert Berry, 'Playhouses, 1560-1660', English Professional Theatre, Glynne Wickham, Herbert Berry and William Ingram (eds) (Cambridge, 2000), 568; see also William Ingram, 'Playhouses Make Strange Bedfellows: The Case of Aaron and Martin', Shakespeare Studies 30 (2002), 118-27, who cautions against assuming that the playhouse in question is the Red Bull. In 'Building Playhouses, the Accession of James I, and the Red Bull', Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 18 (2005), 61-74, Berry draws on Eva Griffith's important ongoing research into the Red Bull to argue that the playhouse was finished in the first eight months of 1607 and first used regularly for commercial performances when Queen Anna's Men took up residence in the autumn of the same year.
(3) The Jacobean and Caroline Stage, 7 vols (Oxford, 1941-68), 6.238 and 247.
(4) Griffith, 'Playhouse, Company, Repertoire: The Queen's Servants at the Red Bull, Clerkenwell, 1605-1619', PhD thesis (King's College London, 2003); Bayer, 'Queen Anne's Men and the Commercial Life of London's Neighborhood Economies', PhD thesis (Ohio State University, 2002). See also Griffith, 'New Material for a Jacobean Playhouse: The Red Bull Theatre on the Seckford Estate', Theatre Notebook 55 (2001), 5-23; Bayer, 'Moving Upmarket: Queen Anne's Men at the Cockpit in Drury Lane, 1617', Early Theatre 4 (2001), 138-48.
(5) The Two Merry Milke-Maids. Or, The Best Words Weare The Garland (London, 1620), [A]2v.
(6) The Fancies Theater (London, 1640), H2v-H3r.
(7) Abuses Stript and Whipt (London, 1613), D3v.
(8) The Just Italian (London, 1630), A3v.
(9) Dekker and Massinger's The Virgin Martyr was licensed for the Red Bull on 6 October 1620; the 'History of Will: Longesword, son to Rosamund' was licensed in 1639. See N.W. Bawcutt, The Control and Censorship of Caroline Drama: The Records of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels 1623-73 (Oxford, 1996), 135,205. For further comment on Will Longswordsee John Astington's essay below.
(10) W.R. Streitberger (ed), 'Jacobean and Caroline Revels Accounts 1603-1642', Malone Society Collections 13 (1986), 49.
(11) 'New Material for a Jacobean Playhouse', 20.
(12) Theatre and Crisis 1632-1642 (Cambridge, 1984), 184.
(13) Extant plays include William Rowley's A Shoemaker a Gentleman (c 1618); Henry Shirley's The Martyred Soldier (c 1619), The Two Noble Ladies (c 1619-22), and Dekker and Massinger's The Virgin Martyr (1620).
(14) The best short account of the King's Revels company is G.E. Bentley, 'The Theatres and the Actors', The Revels History of Drama in English, Philip Edwards, Gerald Eades Bentley, Kathleen McLuskie and Lois Potter (eds) (London and New York, 1981), 105-8, which draws on his earlier essay, 'The Salisbury Court Theater and Its Boy Players', Huntington Library Quarterly 40 (1977), 129-49. In a Chancery deposition of 1665 Jordan claimed that he was aged around 48: see Judith Milhous and Robert D. Hume, 'New Light on English Acting Companies in 1646,1648, and 1660', Review of English Studies, ns 42 (1991), 500, n 26. I am very grateful to David Kathman for originally directing me towards this essay.
(15) David Galloway (ed) Norwich, 1540-1642 REED (Toronto, 1984), 218.
(16) The speech was printed in Jordan's Wit in a Wilderness of Promiscuous Poetry (London, 1660), as 'A Poem composed, and spoken by the Author to the late King at the Dedication of Mr. Tho. Bushel's Rock at Enston in Oxon, 1638. in the person of Caliope.' Although Jordan claims that the speech was composed in 1638, it is probable it belongs to the entertainment prepared by Bushell for the visit of the king and queen to his estate on 23 August 1636. For further discussion of this event see C.E. McGee, 'The Presentment of Bushell's Rock: Place, Politics,
and Theatrical Self-Promotion', Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 16 (2003), 39-80.
(17) For a summary of evidence, see Lynne Hulse, 'Thomas Jordan (c 1614-85)', The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Brian Harrison (gen ed) (Oxford, 2004) <http://0-www.oxforddnb.com.catalogue.ulrls.lon.ac.uk/view/article/15122> accessed 20 August 2006]. See also Allan H. Stevenson, 'James Shirley and the Actors at the First Irish Theater', Modern Philology 40 (1942-3), 147-60; Alan J. Fletcher, Drama, Performance and Polity in Pre-Cromwellian Ireland(Cork, 2000), 442 (n 45).
(18) The play was licensed as 'Youths Figaries alld upon several reformations and not otherwise 1641. Made by Jordan for the Bull Compy' (Bawcutt, 209); Walks of Islington closes with the lines ' To marry and be civill our next care is, / We now have done enough for Youths Fegaries' (H4r). It was entered in the Stationers' Register on 21 April 1657 as 'a book called the Walkes of Islington and Hogsdon with the Humors of Woodstreet Compter, a Comedy as it was acted at the Red bull in St. Iohns Street', but the theatrical attribution did not make it to the printed title page. See Bentley, Jacobean and Caroline Stage, 4.688-90.
(19) The Walks of Islington and Hogsdon, with The Humours of Woodstreet-Compter (London, 1657), H4r.
(20) Jacobean and Caroline Stage, 2.487.
(21) The play is most of ten examined in the context of 'place realist' comedy of the Caroline period. The classic account of 'place realist' comedy is Theodore Miles, 'Place-Realism in a Group of Caroline Plays', Review of English Studies 18 (1942), 428-40; Miles considers The Walks of Islington--'a strange and individual play' (435)--only briefly, and does not consider it to fit his strict definition of this sub-genre. Matthew Steggle, 'Placing Caroline Politics on the Professional Comic Stage', The 1630s: Interdisciplinary Essays on Culture and Politics in the Caroline Era, Ian Atherton and Julie Sanders (eds) (Manchester, 2006)), 154-70, considers the play at much greater length and convincingly suggests that its 'local satire is combined with, indeed resonates with, a broader, macropolitical, frame of reference' (164). I am very grateful to Dr Steggle for sharing this essay with me before publication.
(22) Sir Humphrey Mildmay saw Othello at the Blackfriars on 6 May 1635, and it was performed at court on 6 December 1636. See G.E. Bentley, 'The Diary of a Caroline Theatergoer', Modern Philology 35 (1937), 67; Joseph Quincy Adams, The Dramatic Records of Sir Henry Herbert, Master of the Revels, 1623-1673 (New Haven, 1917), 75.
(23) See Bentley, Jacobean and Caroline Stage, 4.685; for summaries of Jordan's activities during the Civil War see Bentley, Jacobean and Caroline Stage, 2.487-90; Hulse, 'Thomas Jordan (c 1614-1685)'.
(24) A Royal Arbour of Loyal Poesie (London, 1663), C2r.
(25) Sportive VVit: The Muses Merriment, a New Spring of Lusty Drollery, Joviall Fancies, and A La Mode Lamponnes (London, 1656), 2F4v.
(26) John Downes, Roscius Anglicanus, Judith Milhous and Robert D. Hume (eds) (London, 1987), 3; Milhous and Hume, 'New Light', 499.
(27) Milhous and Hume, 'New Light', 499.
(28) William Van Lennep, 'The Death of the Red Bull', Theatre Notebook 16 (1961-2), 128, follows a suggestion of W.J. Lawrence in unpublished notes preserved at Harvard and states that 'Love Hath Found out his Eyes' was performed about May 1660. It was entered in the Stationers' Register by Humphrey Moseley on 29 July 1660; see Bentley, Jacobean and Caroline Stage, 4.685.
(29) 'The Death of the Red Bull', 130.
(30) Tricks of Youth, or, The Walks of Islington and Hogsdon with the Humours of Woodstreet-Compter (London, 1663), [A]2v. The prologue is also printed in A Royal Arbour of Loyal Poesie, where it is titled 'A Prologue to the King, August 16. 1660' (B8r).
(31) See Van Lennep, 131-2. The other plays performed were William Rowley's All's Lost by Lust, James Shirley's The Young Admiral, Thomas Middleton's A Mad World My Masters, The Spanish Lady, or the Very Woman, and Tatham's The Rump.
(32) A Royal Arbour of Loyal Poesie, B6v.
(33) See Elizabeth Howe, The First English Actresses: Women and Drama 1660-1700 (Cambridge, 1992), 19.
(34) For recent reappraisals of drama during this period see Dale B. Randall, Winter Fruit: English Drama 1642-1660 (Lexington, KY, 1995); Susan Wiseman, Drama and Politics in the English Civil War (Cambridge, 1998).
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||Issues in Review|
|Author:||Munro, Lucy; Lancashire, Anne; Astington, John; Straznicky, Marta|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2006|
|Previous Article:||Ram Alley and female spectatorship.|
|Next Article:||Multi-day performance and the London Clerkenwell play.|