Tuesday, 29 March 2016

29 March, 1592 - Muly Molocco

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

Henslowe writes: R at mvlomvlucko the 29 of marche 1591 ... iijll ijs

In modern English: Received at Muly Molocco, 29th March, 1592 ... £3 and 2 shillings

1629 Portuguese illustration of the Battle of Alcazar
Today, Lord Strange's Men returned to Muly Molocco again, a play that they often performed, and had last staged just under two weeks ago. The play was about Abd el-Malik's struggle for the throne of Morocco; you can read more about it in the blog entry for 21st February.

This entry in Henslowe's Diary is a great surprise, because the takings for Muly Molocco are unexpectedly high. The play had previously always hovered in the mid-range of the box office; its takings so far have been 29, 34, and 28 shillings. Now, it has suddenly made double that, with 62 shillings.

What caused this sudden enthusiasm for a tale of Moroccan wars?  And in general, why has Henslowe's box office skyrocketed in the last few days, after two weeks of sluggishness? My guess is that it may be a result of this being Easter Week - a time of festivity and, for some, days off work. Indeed, I wonder whether the previous week's poor box office might be related to it having been Holy Week, when many Londoners might have felt guilty about going to the theatre?

Henslowe links


Did I make a mistake? Do you have a question? Have you anything to add? Please post a comment below!

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