Wednesday, 12 December 2018

12 December, 1594 - Warlamchester

Here's what the Admiral's Men performed at the Rose playhouse on this day, 424 years ago...

Henslowe writes: ye 12 of desembȝ 1594 ... R at warlamchester ... xvs 

In modern English: 12th December, 1594 ... Received at Warlamchester ... 15 shillings

The martyrdom of St Alban, from a 13th century
manuscript by Matthew Paris
Today, the Admiral's Men performed again their lost play Warlamchester, which was probably about the martyrdom of St Alban during the Roman persecutions of Christians.You can read more about this play in the entry for 28 November.

The company last performed Warlamchester nearly two weeks ago. Today's performance is yet another marked drop in box office, in a week that has seen small audiences likely caused by the holy season of Advent. Even a play about a saint does not seem to have persuaded the punters to abandon their morals.

Henslowe links



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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

11 December, 1594 - Caesar and Pompey


Here's what the Admiral's Men performed at the Rose playhouse on this day, 424 years ago...

Henslowe writes: ye 10 of desembȝ 1594 ... R at seser ... xijs 

In modern English: [11th] December, 1594 ... Received at Caesar ... 12 shillings


Detail from Caesar Contemplating
the Head of Pompey
by Tiepolo (1746)
Today, the Admiral's Men returned to Caesar and Pompey, their retelling of the civil war that erupted in Ancient Rome between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. You can read more about this play in the entry for 8th November.

The company has waited a week and a half to revive the still relatively new Caesar and Pompey. Like all other plays at the mment, it is being hit hard by the Advent downturn, and has not drawn much of a crowd.



Henslowe links



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Monday, 10 December 2018

10 December, 1594 - The Jew of Malta

Here's what the Admiral's Men performed at the Rose playhouse on this day, 424 years ago...

Henslowe writes: ye 9 of desembȝ  1594 ... R at the Jew ... iij 

In modern English: [10th] December, 1594 ... Received at The Jew ... 3 shillings

Caravaggio's portrait of the Grand
Master of the Knights of Malta,
1607-8.
Today, the players once again performed The Jew of Malta, Christopher Marlowe's satirical comic tragedy; you can read more about this play in the blog entry for 26th February 1592.

It has been six weeks since the players last dragged out the sad and unloved Jew of Malta, which had once been the most popular play at the Rose but is now barely able to attract anyone at all to the playhouse. Today's box office is the lowest recorded for any play thus far in Henslowe's Diary, even worse than the previous record-holder, The Grecian Comedy, a few days ago.

It must have been embarrassing for the players to perform this former blockbuster to a few dozen people. It is no surprise then to learn that the company will cease performing it for a year following this outing. But The Jew of Malta cannot be kept down, and you can expect to see it return before the Diary is ended.


Henslowe links



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Sunday, 9 December 2018

9 December, 1594 - Doctor Faustus

Here's what the Admiral's Men performed at the Rose playhouse on this day, 424 years ago...

Henslowe writes: ye 8 of desembȝ  1594 ... R at docter fostus ... xvs 

In modern English: [9th] December, 1594 ... Received at Dr Faustus ... 15 shillings

Faustus summoning Mephistopheles: from the
1616 text of the play 
Today, the Admiral's Men staged Christopher Marlowe's famous tragedy Dr Faustus, in which a scholar summons a demon and sells his soul to the devil. You can read more about this play in the entry for 2 October.

The company has waited 3 weeks before performing Dr Faustus, in what is proving a rather disappointing return for the old warhorse. The small audiences of Advent are not helping matters either.


Henslowe links



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Friday, 7 December 2018

7 December, 1594 - The Wise Man of West Chester

Here's what the Admiral's Men performed at the Rose playhouse on this day, 424 years ago...

Henslowe writes: ye 6 of desembȝ 1594 ... R at the wiseman of weschester ... xxxiiijs 

In modern English: [7th] December, 1594 ... Received at The Wise Man of West Chester ... 34 shillings.


A man, who might possibly be
wise, carved on the choir
stalls of Chester Cathedral
Today, the Admiral's Men returned The Wise Man of West Chester to the stage. This lost play appears to have been about a wizard in the English city of Chester; you can read more about it in the entry for 3 December.

The company premièred The Wise Man of West Chester only four days ago, and have swiftly brought it back for its second outing. It received one shilling more this time. The box office indicates a half-full theatre, but that's actually quite impressive during the current Advent season, in which Londoners seem to be staying away from the theatre.


What's next?


There will be no blog entry tomorrow because 8 December was a Sunday in 1594 and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on 9 December for a week that will include a new play. See you then!

Henslowe links



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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

5 December, 1594 - Mahamet

Here's what the Admiral's Men performed at the Rose playhouse on this day, 424 years ago...

Henslowe writes: ye 4 of desembȝ 1594 ... R at mahemet ... xjs

In modern English: [5th] December, 1594 ... Received at Mahamet ... 11 shillings
1629 Portuguese illustration of the Battle of Alcazar
Today, the company returned to Mahamet, which may survive today as The Battle of Alcazar. If so, it was a popular old play that told the story of Abd el-Malik's struggle for the throne of Morocco against the vicious usurper Muly Mahamet; you can read more about it in the entry for 21st February, 1592.

This is the first time in a month that the company has performed Mahamet. Box office takings during Advent continue to be lean, although this play is doing a little better than some others we've seen of late.


What's next?


There will be no blog entry tomorrow; Henslowe's dates for this week are muddled, but the simplest explanation is that there was no performance on 6 December.  Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on 7 December - see you then!

Henslowe links



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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

4 December, 1594 - Tasso's Melancholy

Here's what the Admiral's Men performed at the Rose playhouse on this day, 424 years ago...

Henslowe writes: ye 3 of desembȝ 1594 ... R at tasso ... vjs 

In modern English: [4th] December, 1594 ... Received at Tasso ... 6 shillings

Tasso in the Madhouse
by Eugene Delacroix (1839)
Today, the Admiral's Men returned to Tasso's Melancholy, a lost play that dramatized the lovesick insanity of the Italian poet Torquato Tasso; you can read more about it in the entry for 13th August.

The players are now entering a pattern of performing Tasso's Melancholy every three weeks. Today's box office is catastrophic, however; it's almost as bad as the record-breakingly sparse attendance at The Grecian Comedy two days ago. The period of Advent may be continuing to harm business.

Henslowe links



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