Sunday, 1 May 2016

1 May, 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 mvlo mvlluco the 30 of aprell 15912 ... lviijs 

In modern English: Received at Muly Molocco, 1st May, 1592 ... 58 shillings 
Henslowe wrote 30th April for this entry, but this was most likely an error, because that day was a Sunday. Indeed, we're now entering a portion of the diary that is full of mistakes and corrections, as Henslowe got himself into a muddle while entering the data.

But if it's not 30th April today, that means it must be May Day! This must have been exciting for the company, as May Day was a public holiday and Londoners would be in a festive mood. 

1629 Portuguese illustration of the Battle of Alcazar
And what better way to celebrate the coming of summer than to go to the Rose playhouse and watch a play about Moroccans bashing each other? Well, that's what Lord Strange's Men seem to have thought, since they revived Muly Molocco again, even though they had last performed it only four days ago. (This 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.)

The company's choice was clearly a good one, as
 Muly Molocco received very strong box office, more than twice what it normally made. I expect Henslowe went out and danced around a maypole to celebrate.

Monday, 21st February - 29 shillings
Tuesday, 29th February - 34 shillings
Friday, 17th March - 29 shillings
Wednesday, 29th March - 62 shillings

Saturday, 8th April - 23 shillings
Monday, 17th April - 30 shillings
Thursday, 27th April, 26 shillings
Monday, 1st May, 58 shillings

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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