Sunday, 1 April 2018

1 April, 1594 - Friar Bacon

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

Henslowe writes: R at frier bacone the j of marche Aprell 1593 ... xxxxiijs

In modern English: Received at Friar Bacon, 1st April, 1594 ... 43 shillings

From the title page of a prose tale of Friar Bacon, 1629,
which was re-used for the 1630 edition of the play.
Welcome back! Today, on Easter Monday, 1594, the Rose playhouse re-opened its doors to Londoners after having been closed nearly two months due to fears of the plague. The plague does not seem to have materialised, despite the fears. But for reasons unknown, the Rose will remain open for only eight days, so you should enjoy this brief flurry of activity while you can...

There are new faces at the Rose. Sussex's Men, who had occupied the theatre from December to February, have now apparently been joined by members of the Queen's Men. It is not known for certain why this arrangement was made, but as a result at least one play from the Queen's Men's repertory will be performed later this week.

To begin their new season, the players have opted for the familiarity of a play about the wizard Friar Bacon. This may have been Robert Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, or it may have been the anonymous John of Bordeaux; you can read more about them in the entry for 19th February, 1592.

Friar Bacon received 43 shillings, a better amount than it normally received at the Rose, but not as impressive as one might expect for a theatre re-opening after two months on a festival day.

Henslowe links


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