Wednesday, 17 October 2018

17 October, 1594 - Palamon and Arcite

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

Henslowe writes: ye 16 of octobȝ 1594 ... R at palaman & arset ... xxvijs 

In modern English: [17th] October, 1594 ... Received at Palamon and Arcite ... 27 shillings


Emily watched by the prisoners from their cell
window; from a 15th-century manuscript of
Boccaccio's Teseida
Today, the company revived Palamon and Arcite, an adaptation of Geoffrey Chaucer's "Knight's Tale", in which two noble kinsmen become rivals for the hand of a fair maiden. You can read more about this play in the entry for 18th September.

Something is wrong about Palamon and Arcite. Its premiere back in mid-September received surprisingly low box office. Now, the players have waited a month before returning it to the stage, and this second performance has drawn only an average-sized audience. It seems that for whatever reason, this play misfiring from the outset.


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Tuesday, 16 October 2018

16 October, 1594 - Tamburlaine

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

Henslowe writes: ye 15 of octobȝ  1594 ... R at tamberlen ... xxviijs 

In modern English: [16th] October, 1594 ... Received at Tamburlaine ... 28 shillings.


Illustration of the historical Tamburlaine
from Richard Knolles' General History

of the Turks (1603).
Today, the players performed Tamburlaine, Christopher Marlowe's spectacular epic about the bloodthirsty conqueror of Asia. You can read more about this play in the entry for 30th August.

Once again, the Admiral's Men have waited a fortnight before returning Tamburlaine to the stage. Once again, the box office is not as good as one might expect, being merely average for the Rose. Is the conqueror of Asia failing to conquer the London theatre scene?

Henslowe links



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Monday, 15 October 2018

15 October, 1594 - Mahamet

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

Henslowe writes: ye 14 of octobȝ 1594 ... R at mahemett ... xxvjs

In modern English: [15th] October, 1594 ... Received at Mahamet ... 26 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.

Like Belin Dun yesterday, this is a play that the company has ignored for three weeks. And like Belin Dun, this has not arrested the sliding of its box office into mediocrity.

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Sunday, 14 October 2018

14 October, 1594 - Belin Dun

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

Henslowe writes: ye 13 of octobȝ 1594 ... R at bellendon ...  xxijs

In modern English: [14th] October, 1594 ... Received at Belin Dun ... 22 shillings

A highwayman portrayed in Richard
Head's The English Rogue (1666)
Today, the Admiral's Men once again performed Belin Dun, their lost play about the notorious robber who terrorized the highways around Dunstable during the reign of King Henry I; you can read more about this play in the entry for 10 June.

The company has now left the once-reliable Belin Dun unperformed for three weeks before returning to it. The box office continues to slide gradually toward unacceptable levels.

Henslowe links



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Friday, 12 October 2018

12 October, 1594 - The Venetian Comedy

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

Henslowe writes: ye 11 of octobȝ 1594 ... R at the venesyon comodey ... xvjs 

In modern English: [12th] October, 1594 ... Received at The Venetian Comedy ... 16 shillings

The Quack Doctor by Pietro Longhi (late
18th century)
Today, the Admiral's Men revived The Venetian Comedy, a play about which we know nothing beyond its title. You can read more about it in the entry for 27 August.

The players have whisked The Venetian Comedy back to the stage after only a week, despite its poor showing on its last outing. Today the box office is worse. Whatever they're trying to do is not working.


What's next?


There will be no blog entry tomorrow, as 13th October was a Sunday in 1594, and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on the 14th for a week that will include a new play. See you then!


Henslowe links



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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

10 October, 1594 - Dr Faustus

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

Henslowe writes: ye 9 of octobȝ  1594 ... R at docter ffostus ... xxxxiiijs 

In modern English: [10th] October, 1594 ... Received at Dr Faustus ... 44 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 brought Dr Faustus back after only a week. It is still doing well on its second outing: 44 shillings is a handsome result, representing an above average audience size.


What's next?


Henslowe's Diary has one too few entries for this week; his dates are muddled in general, but one interpretation is that the 11th October entry is missing.  Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on 12th October. See you then!


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Tuesday, 9 October 2018

9 October, 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 8 of octobȝ 1594 ... R at Tasso ... xxvijs 

In modern English: [9th] October, 1594 ... Received at Tasso ... 27 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.

Last time, the players waited a fortnight before staging Tasso's Melancholy again. This time, they have waited three weeks. This has had no effect on the play's success, which remains at its below average level after the last performance's precipitous drop.

Henslowe links



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