Tuesday, 31 January 2017

31 January, 1593 - 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 6 the 31 of Jenewarye 1593 ... xxxvs

In modern English: Received at Harry VI, 31st January, 1593 ... 35 shillings

1540s portrait of King
Henry VI
Today, Lord Strange's Men revived their history play Harry VI, which was almost certainly Shakespeare's First Part of Henry VIyou can read more about it in the blog entry for 3rd March 1592.

Last season, the company had performed Harry VI almost weekly. This season, they have waited two weeks to revive it. The result has been a theatre only half full, but even this must have been something of a relief for the company after two days of atrocious box office.

Henslowe links


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


  1. Given the letter you mentioned earlier (on the 28th), do we know how much regular folks knew about the plague death numbers? And if they knew, how they reacted? I guess what I'm asking is: if regular folks saw that plague deaths seemed up, and knew that theaters etc were thought to contribute through crowds (and such), could they have started staying away from theaters before any official closure?

    I guess we'd want to look at other years in Henslowe, when plague deaths rose, to see if there's a correlation.


    1. That's an excellent question. As far as I can tell from my reading on the matter, the question of how people reacted cannot be answered, but presumably if the authorities tended to ban crowds to prevent plague, ordinary people must have been aware that they were dangerous. It definitely can't have helped with box office!