Friday, 5 January 2018

5 January, 1594 - God Speed the Plough

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

Henslowe writes: R at god spead the plowe the 5 of Jenewary 1593 ... xjs 

In modern English: Received at God Speed the Plough, 5th January ... 11 shillings

Today, Sussex's Men revived God Speed the Plough, the play with which they had begun their stint at the Rose just under a fortnight ago; you can read more about this play in the entry for 26 December, 1593. Once again, the enormous audience on the opening day has not been matched in the repeat performance, which scraped a paltry eleven shillings, representing a near-empty theatre.

We don't know the subject matter of God Speed the Plough, but in his Catalogue of British Drama, Martin Wiggins points out that today's performance was very close to Plough Monday, the traditional start of the agricultural year (which in 1594 was January 7), so if the play was about country life, its timing was very appropriate.

What's next?

There will be no blog entry tomorrow because 6th January was a Sunday in 1594 and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on the 7th, for a week that will contain a mixture of old and new plays.

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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