Tuesday, 3 January 2017

3 Jan, 1593 - A Knack to Know a Knave

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

Henslowe writes: R at the cnacke the 3 of Jenewary 1592 ... xxixs

In modern English: Received at The Knack, 3rd January, 1593 ... 29 shillings

The knaves from an Italian
pack of cards, c.1490
Today, Lord Strange's Men revived again A Knack to Know a Knave, their comical morality play; you can read more about it in the entry for 10th June.

It is very surprising to see the company reviving Knack only two days after its previous performance, because they almost always waited at least a week before reviving a play. Why the haste to restage Knack? Were they trying again because the previous performance had received disappointing box office against expectations? Had it perhaps been raining on Monday so they were were giving it another shot?

We'll never know, but whatever the logic, it had no effect on box office, which was slightly more disappointing than on Monday. London seems to be loving the return of the company's other plays to the stage, but is responding to Knack with a shrug.

Henslowe links


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