Monday, 9 May 2016

9th May, 1592 - Harry VI

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

Henslowe writes: R at harey the vj the 7 of maye 1592 ... xxijs

In modern English: Received at Harry VI, 9th May, 1592 ... 22 shillings

As you may have noticed, Henslowe wrote today's date wrong. This little error will cause some messiness in his accounts, as he will perpetuate the mistake and will be two days out of step for quite a while. It might seem odd that Henslowe would repeatedly not notice that his dates were wrong, but most scholars think he wasn't actually writing these entries one by one on a daily basis; rather, he was adding multiple entries in big blocks, which made it easy for him to get his dates out of sync.

1540s portrait of King
Henry VI
Anyway, today, Lord Strange's Men performed Harry VI again. This play was almost certainly Shakespeare's First Part of Henry VIyou can read more about it in the blog entry for 3rd March.

The company had last performed Harry VI only 5 days ago. Previously, they had waited two weeks before reviving it, and had been rewarded with big box office from the Harry-starved crowd. Now, they revived it again in a hurry and received its lowest box office ever. I could have told them that. The clear moral is that you gotta keep the punters hungry.

  • Friday, 3rd March - 75 shillings
  • Tuesday, 7th March - 60 shillings
  • Saturday, 11th March - 47 shillings
  • Thursday, 16th March - 31 shillings
  • Tuesday, 28th March - 68 shillings
  • Wednesday, 5th April - 41 shillings
  • Thursday, 13th April - 26 shillings
  • Friday, 21st April - 33 shillings
  • Thursday, 4th May - 56 shillings
  • Tuesday, 9th May - 22 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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