Friday, 28 February 2020

28 February, 1596 - Longshanks and a Lenten closure

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

Henslowe writes: ye 27 of febreary 1595 ... R at longshancke ... xxxs  ... the master of the Revelles payd vntell this time al wch J owe hime

In modern English: [28th] February, [1596] ... Received at Longshanks ... 30 shillings ... the Master of the Revels paid until this time all which I owe him

Portrait of Edward I in
Westminster Abbey
Today, the Rose playhouse closed for the period of Lent. For their final play of the season, the Admiral's Men returned to Longshanks, their lost play about King Edward I of England; you can read more about it in the entry for 29 August, 1595.

Today's entry also includes a note that Henslowe paid the license for the Rose to the Master of the Revels; you can read more about this in the entry for 8 November, 1596.

The company has not performed Longshanks for three weeks, and its box office has been declining for a long time, but today's audience is relatively large, suggesting that people wanted to visit the playhouse one last time before the fasting period.

With the Rose now closed, this blog will be on hiatus until April 12, which was Easter Monday in 1596. See you then!


Henslowe links



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Thursday, 27 February 2020

27 February, 1596 - The Blind Beggar of Alexandria

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

Henslowe writes: ye 26 of febreary 1595 ... R at the blind beager ... iijll

In modern English: [27th] February, [1596] ... Received at The Blind Beggar ... 
£3

Beggars in Alexandria; an undated photograph
from Brooklyn Museum's Lantern Slide Collection
Today, the Admiral's Men revived The Blind Beggar of Alexandria, a comedy by George Chapman about a master of disguise. You can read more about it in the entry for 12 February.

The company has rushed The Blind Beggar back to the stage after only a few days and it has exceeded expectations by filling the theatre! This play is proving to be a very big hit.

Henslowe links



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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

26 February, 1596 - The Seven Days of the Week

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

Henslowe writes: ye 25 of febreary 1595 ... R at wecke ... xxs 

In modern English: [26th] February, [1596] ... Received at Week ... 20 shillings

Today, the Admiral's Men revived a play that Henslowe lists simply as Week. It's not clear whether this play is the original Seven Days of the Week, which you can read about in the entry for 3 June, 1595, or whether it is The Second Week, an apparent sequel that you can read about in the entry for 23 January.

19th-century Italian bracelet illustrating each of the seven days of
the week with a portrait of the deity associated with it.
From the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore
Whether it was the original or the sequel, the company has waited a month to attempt restaging a Week play, and the box office remains low.

Henslowe links



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Tuesday, 25 February 2020

25 February, 1596 - Chinon of England

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

Henslowe writes: ye 24 of febreary 1595 ... R at chinone ... lvjs

In modern English: [25th] February, [1596] ... Received at Chinon ... 56 shillings

The Knights of the Round
Table, from the Compilation
arthurienne de Micheau
Gonnot (1470)
It's Ash Wednesday, a public holiday and the traditional beginning of the forty days of Lent. The Admiral's Men have revived Chinon of England, their lost Arthurian drama about a fool who becomes a knight. You can read more about this play in the entry for 3 January.

Although London is now embarking upon the fasting-time, its people are taking the opportunity of the holiday to have some fun at the theatre, and Chinon has attracted a very large crowd!

Henslowe links



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Monday, 24 February 2020

24 February, 1596 - Pythagoras

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

Henslowe writes: ye 23 of febreary 1595 ... shrof twesday ... R at pethagores ... xxxiiijs 

In modern English: [23rd] February, [1596] ... Shrove Tuesday ... Received at Pythagoras ... 34 shillings
Pythagoras as portrayed in Raphael's
The School of Athens (1509-11)
Today is Shrove Tuesday, a holiday and a time for gluttony and merry-making before Lent! On this special day, the Admiral's Men have revived Pythagoras, their lost play about the Greek philosopher. You can read more about this play in the entry for 16 January

The festive occasion has not had any obvious effect on the box office for Pythagoras, which remains almost identical to last week's.


Henslowe links



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Sunday, 23 February 2020

23 February, 1596 - The Blind Beggar of Alexandria

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

Henslowe writes: ye 22 of febreary 1595 ... Shroue monday ... R at the blind beager ... xxxvjs

In modern English: [23rd] February, [1596] ... Shrove Monday ... Received at The Blind Beggar ... 36 shillings

Beggars in Alexandria; an undated photograph
from Brooklyn Museum's Lantern Slide Collection
It's Shrove Monday, a day for eating eggs and bacon in advance of the fasting period of Lent! Today, the Admiral's Men revived The Blind Beggar of Alexandria, a comedy by George Chapman about a master of disguise. You can read more about it in the entry for 12 February.

The celebratory feasting of Shrove Monday tends not to increase the box office at the Rose; sure enough, The Blind Beggar's audience has dropped, although Rose is still half full.



Henslowe links



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Friday, 21 February 2020

21 February, 1596 - Fortunatus

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

Henslowe writes: ye 20 of febreary 1595 ... R at ffortunatus ... xxijs 

In modern English: [21st] February, [1596] ... Received at Fortunatus ... 22 shillings

Fortunatus receives the magic purse from
Lady Fortune (from the 1509 novel)
Today, the Admiral's Men revived Fortunatus, which was probably the first of a two-part play, and was the precursor of Thomas Dekker's Old Fortunatus; it told the story of a man who miraculously acquires infinite wealth. You can read more about it in the entry for 3rd February.

The players have returned to Fortunatus after a week and a half, but its box office has halved, dropping from very good to not very good.


What's next?



There will be no blog entry tomorrow because 22nd February was a Sunday in 1596 and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on the 23rd for some festivity during the last week of performances before Lent. See you then!


Henslowe links



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