Monday, 22 January 2018

22 January, 1594 - The Fair Maid of Italy

Here's what the Earl of Sussex's Men performed at the Rose playhouse on this day, 424 years ago...

Henslowe writes: R at the fayer mayd of ytaly the 21 of Jenewary ... xxijs 

In modern English: Received at The Fair Maid of Italy, 22nd January ... 22 shillings

Portrait, supposedly of Simonetta
Vespucci, by Sandro Botticelli
(late 15th century)
Today, Sussex's Men revived again The Fair Maid of Italy, a lost play that was presumably some kind of romantic comedy about an Italian maiden. You can read more about this play in the entry for 12th January, 1594.

The company had given The Fair Maid of Italy its first Rose performance a week and a half ago, at which it had received apocalyptically bad box office. But they must have had some confidence in the play to return it to the stage so soon, and indeed today it was more successful, albeit still below the Rose's average. Perhaps the first performance had been affected more by weather than by the choice of play.

Henslowe links


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