Friday, 30 November 2018

30 November, 1594 - Warlamchester

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

Henslowe writes: ye  of 30 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at warlamchester ... xxxviijs 

In modern English: 30th November, 1594 ... Received at Warlamchester ... 38 shillings

The martyrdom of St Alban, from a 13th century
manuscript by Matthew Paris
Today, the Admiral's Men performed again their lost play Warlamchester, which was probably about the martyrdom of St Alban during the Roman persecutions of Christians.You can read more about this play in the entry for 28 November.

The company brought this old play back to the stage only two days ago, so it is a great surprise to see it back again so soon. Perhaps the company got a good vibe from the small audience that had showed up, and wanted to try the play again as soon as possible; if so, they were right to do so, because today's box office is almost twice as good; word of mouth may have spread.

What's next?

There will be no blog entry tomorrow because 1 December was a Sunday in 1594 and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on the 2nd, for a week that will include a new play!

Henslowe links



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Thursday, 29 November 2018

29 November, 1594 - A Knack to Know an Honest Man

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

Henslowe writes: ye 29 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at the knacke ... xxs

In modern English: 29th November, 1594 ... Received at The Knack ... 20 shillings

Two  Young Venetian Men (anon., 1515)
Today, the Admiral's Men revived A Knack to Know an Honest Man, their comical moral romance set in Venice. You can read more about this play in the entry for 23rd October.

The company last performed A Knack to Know an Honest Man only a week ago, but it now seems to be plateauing at a rather unimpressive level. 

Henslowe links



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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

28 November, 1594 - Warlamchester

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

Henslowe writes: ye  of 28 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at warlamchester ... xxiijs 

In modern English: 28th November, 1594 ... Received at Warlamchester ... 23 shillings

Today, the Admiral's Men performed a lost play that has not appeared in the Diary before. It was apparently an old play that they were restoring to the stage. The title, Warlamchester, is the Anglo-Saxon name for the town that would later be renamed St Albans after the saint who was martyred there.

The martyrdom of St Alban, from a 13th century
manuscript by Matthew Paris
It seems likely that Warlamchester told the story of the martyrdom of St Alban. In Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles, the go-to history book for English dramatists, we learn that this event took place during the persecutions of Christians by the Roman emperors Dioclesian and Maximian.

(Now, here we must pause for thought. These persecutions were also the subject of another Rose play, Diocletian, which premiered only a few days ago. And that play received only two performances, the last being a few days ago. It is not completely impossible that Warlamchester is simply an alternative name for Diocletian. The possibility is tantalizing but unprovable, so let's just assume it's a different play.)

According to Holinshed, one of the persecuted Christians was "Alban, a citizen of Warlamchester", who would become the first Briton martyr. Alban had been "converted to the faith by the zealous Christian Amphibalus". When Roman soldiers came to arrest his teacher, Alban disguised himself as Amphibalus, and was tried and arrested in his place. And when he "refused to do sacrifice to the false gods, he was beheaded on the top of an hill over against the town of Warlamchester".

Shrine of St Alban in the Abbey
Holinshed notes some details that would have been interesting, if challenging, to stage. He writes that the executioner was suddenly converted to Christianity and refused to behead Alban. Someone else stepped forward to do the deed and struck Alban down, but the killer's "eyes fell out of his head down to the ground, together with the head of that holy man which he had then cut off".

Alban was not forgotten. Holinshed records that "afterwards was builded a church and monastery in remembrance of his martyrdom" and the town of Warlamchester "took name of him, and so is unto this day called Saint Albans".


As for the box office, Warlamchester did not draw a large crowd, whatever its subject may have been.


FURTHER READING


Warlamchester information



Henslowe links



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Tuesday, 27 November 2018

27 November, 1594 - Tamburlaine

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

Henslowe writes: ye 27 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at tamberlen ... xxijs 

In modern English: 27th November, 1594 ... Received at Tamburlaine ... 22 shillings.


Illustration of the historical Tamburlaine
from Richard Knolles' General History

of the Turks (1603).
Today, the players performed Tamburlaine, Christopher Marlowe's spectacular epic about the bloodthirsty conqueror of Asia. You can read more about this play in the entry for 30th August.

How the mighty hath begun to fall. The Scourge of God, returned to the stage nearly a month after his last appearance, has drawn only a smallish crowd.

Henslowe links



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Monday, 26 November 2018

26 November, 1594 - The Venetian Comedy

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

Henslowe writes: ye 26 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at the venecyon comodey ... xiijs 

In modern English: 26th November, 1594 ... Received at The Venetian Comedy ... 13 shillings

The Quack Doctor by Pietro Longhi (late
18th century)
Today, the Admiral's Men revived The Venetian Comedy, a play about which we know nothing beyond its title. You can read more about it in the entry for 27 August.

The players have waited only a fortnight before restaging The Venetian Comedy - after leaving it an entire month last time - but the renewed confidence was misplaced, as hardly anyone has shown up for it today.


Henslowe links



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Sunday, 25 November 2018

25 November, 1594 - Caesar and Pompey


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

Henslowe writes: ye 25 of novembȝ 1594 ... R at seser & pompey ... xxxijs 

In modern English: 25th November, 1594 ... Received at Caesar and Pompey ... 32 shillings.


Detail from Caesar Contemplating
the Head of Pompey
by Tiepolo (1746)
Today, the Admiral's Men returned to Caesar and Pompey, their retelling of the civil war that erupted in Ancient Rome between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. You can read more about this play in the entry for 8th November.

It's the third performance of Caesar and Pompey, and the box office remains average for the Rose, as it was last week; the play is not setting the theatrical world aflame, but probably no-one's complaining either.



Henslowe links



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Friday, 23 November 2018

23 November, 1594 - The Grecian Comedy

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

Henslowe writes: ye 23 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at the greasyon comody ... xs 

In modern English: 23rd November, 1594 ... Received at The Grecian Comedy ... 10 shillings.

The Love of Helen and Paris
by Jacques-Louis David (1789)
Today, the company returned to The Grecian Comedy. We know nothing about this play beyond its title, although Henslowe sometimes calls it The Grecian Lady, which adds a tiny bit more information; you can read more about it in the entry for 5 October.

The Grecian Comedy continues to draw extremely small audiences. It is odd to see the players abandoning a perfectly solid play like Diocletian yesterday, while continuing to stage this one, which has never drawn a large crowd.


What's next?


There will be no blog entry tomorrow because November 24 was a Sunday in 1594 and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on the 25th for a week that will include a new play. See you then!


Henslowe links



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Thursday, 22 November 2018

22 November, 1594 - Diocletian

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

Henslowe writes: ye 22 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at deoclesyan ... xxxxiijs 

In modern English: 22nd November, 1594 ... Received at Diocletian ... 43 shillings.


Head of Diocletian in the
Istanbul Archaeological Museum
Today, the Admiral's Men revived, but also said goodbye to, Diocletian, which told the rags-to-riches story of the Christian-persecuting Roman emperor. You can read more about this play in the entry for 16 November.

Surprisingly enough, this is the last performance of Diocletian after its premiere less than a week ago. The box office for its premiere had been disappointing but not catastrophically so, and today's performance was entirely respectable for a second staging. It is thus puzzling that the players decided to abandon this play. But that is what they have done, and they must have had their reasons.


Henslowe links



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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

21 November, 1594 - A Knack to Know an Honest Man

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

Henslowe writes: ye 21 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at the knacke ... xxs

In modern English: 21st November, 1594 ... Received at The Knack ... 20 shillings

Two  Young Venetian Men (anon., 1515)
Today, the Admiral's Men revived A Knack to Know an Honest Man, their comical moral romance set in Venice. You can read more about this play in the entry for 23rd October.

A Knack to Know an Honest Man has been doing extremely well of late, bringing in surprisingly large crowds a fortnight ago. However, today was disappointing with a less than half-full theatre. Perhaps the play has peaked.

Henslowe links



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Tuesday, 20 November 2018

20 November, 1594 - Doctor Faustus

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

Henslowe writes: ye 20 of novmbȝ  1594 ... R at docter fostes ... xviijs 

In modern English: 20th November, 1594 ... Received at Dr Faustus ... 18 shillings

Faustus summoning Mephistopheles: from the
1616 text of the play 
Today, the Admiral's Men staged Christopher Marlowe's famous tragedy Dr Faustus, in which a scholar summons a demon and sells his soul to the devil. You can read more about this play in the entry for 2 October.

The company is settling into a groove of performing Dr Faustus once a fortnight. But it's not doing well; this is a very small house.

Then again, we must always remember that it's mid-November during the Little Ice Age; it's always impressive to get anyone at all to show up at an open-air theatre...


Henslowe links



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Sunday, 18 November 2018

18 November, 1594 - The French Doctor

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

Henslowe writes: ye  18 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at the frenshe docter ... xxvijs 

In modern English: 18th November, 1594 ... Received at The French Doctor ... 27 shillings

A French Physician, by
Matthew Darly, 1771
Today, the players revived again their lost play about a doctor from France. We know very little about this play, which was probably a comedy; you can read more in the entry for 19 October.

The company has returned to The French Doctor two weeks after its last performance, and it has done better today than on either of its two previous outings. The results are still not impressive, but they are approaching an average return for the Rose. Are things improving for this play?

What's next?


For some reason, there is no diary entry for tomorrow. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on the 20th. See you then!

Henslowe links



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Friday, 16 November 2018

16 November, 1594 - Diocletian

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

Henslowe writes: ye 16 of novmbȝ 1594 ... ne ... R at deoclesyan ... liiijs 

In modern English: 16th November, 1594 ... New ... Received at Diocletian ... 54 shillings.


Today, the Admiral's Men performed a new play! Diocletian is lost, like so many of their plays, but its title suggests that it told the rags-to-riches story of Diocletian, a Roman emperor who persecuted Christians.

The play


The title page of  John Foxe's Acts
and Monuments, better known
as the 'Book of Martyrs'
In his catalogue of British drama, Martin Wiggins suggests that the likeliest source for this play was John Foxe's Acts and Monuments (better known as the 'Book of Martyrs'), an enormous but extremely popular tome that retold at length the legends of the Christian martyrs. It includes a lengthy description of the life of Diocletian and his campaign of persecution during in the 3rd century.

In Foxe's version of history, based very loosely on reality, Diocletian was a common soldier who heard a prophecy that he would be Emperor. The prophecy came true when Emperor Numerian was murdered by one Aper. According to Foxe, Diocletian "swore to the soldiers that Numerianus was wrongfully killed, and forthwith, running upon Aper with his sword, slew him". The army then chose him to be the next emperor, and, in an unusual step, Diocletian invited his friend Maximian to be co-emperor.

Diocletian's ego soon got the better of him and he demanded to be worshipped as a god, "saying that he was brother to the sun and moon, and, adorning his shoes with gold and precious stones, commanded the people to kiss his feet". He then began to persecute the Christians: he "commanded all the churches of the Christians to be spoiled and cast to the earth, and the books of holy scripture to be burned". Foxe lavishes attention on these gruesome events, such as a
great persecution amongst the governors of the church, amongst whom many stood manfully, passing through many exceeding bitter torments; neither were overcome therewith, being tormented and examined, diverse of them diversely, some scourged all their bodies over with whips and scourges, some with racks [and] razings of the flesh intolerable.
Diocletian even martyred his own wife, "so much did the rage of persecution utterly forget all natural affects".

Head of Diocletian in the
Istanbul Archaeological Museum
But in another unusual step, Diocletian and Maximinus eventually tired of their rule and abdicated. Not seeing any hope of rooting out Christianity, they "had now even their fill of blood, and loathed, as it were, the shedding thereof, [so] they ceased at the last, of their own accord, to put any more Christians to death". Diocletian retired to a country estate. But when he learned that his successor, Constantine, had ordered the protection of Christians, he "either for sorrow died, or as some say did poison himself".

If this was the story told at the Rose, the ending might have been anticlimactic, but one can still imagine that Edward Alleyn enjoyed himself in the role of the vicious and egotistical emperor.


Romans at the Rose


Following Caesar and Pompey last week, the Admiral's Men seem to be engaged in a project to add more Roman plays to their repertory (perhaps inspired by Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, and perhaps soon to be rivaled by his Julius Caesar). And many years from now, Diocletian will become a popular stage villain, appearing in A Shoemaker a Gentleman (William Rowley, c.1618), The Virgin Martyr (Thomas Dekker and Philip Massinger, 1620), and The Prophetess (John Fletcher and Philip Massinger, 1622).

Today's performance was something of a disappointment, though. The audience was large, but not as large as most premieres. Diocletian's name was clearly not yet infamous enough to draw much of a crowd.


What's next?


There will be no blog entry tomorrow because 17 November was a Sunday in 1594 and the players did no perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on the 18th. See you then!


FURTHER READING


Diocletian information

  • John Foxe, Acts and Monuments, 2nd edition (1583), vol. 1, 77-86. 
  • Martin Wiggins, British Drama, 1533-1642: A Catalogue, vol. 3 (Oxford University Press, 2013), entry 973.
  • Domenico Lovascio, "Diocletian", Lost Plays Database (2017). 


Henslowe links



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Thursday, 15 November 2018

15 November, 1594 - Belin Dun

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

Henslowe writes: ye 15 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at bellendon ...  xijs

In modern English: 15th November, 1594 ... Received at Belin Dun ... 12 shillings

A highwayman portrayed in Richard
Head's The English Rogue (1666)
Today, for what will be the last time for a while, the Admiral's Men performed Belin Dun, their lost play about the notorious robber who terrorized the highways around Dunstable during the reign of King Henry I; you can read more about this play in the entry for 10 June.

This will be Belin Dun's last performance for a long time: it will not return to the Rose for many months. The play was introduced back in June, and became one of the most popular plays at the Rose, being performed very frequently and to reliably solid box office. But gradually, as with all these plays, it has become stale with repetition, and after seventeen performances the actors have decided to let it rest for a while.

Below is a graph showing the fortunes of Belin Dun since its first performance at the Rose. It shows how reliable the play was for a long time, before nosediving quite recently.






Henslowe links



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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

14 November, 1594 - Caesar and Pompey


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

Henslowe writes: ye 14 of novembȝ 1594 ... R at sesor & pompie ... xxxvs 

In modern English: 14th November, 1594 ... Received at Caesar and Pompey ... 35 shillings.


Detail from Caesar Contemplating
the Head of Pompey
by Tiepolo (1746)
Today, the Admiral's Men returned to Caesar and Pompey, their retelling of the civil war that erupted in Ancient Rome between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. You can read more about this play in the entry for 8th November.

The company premiered this play less than a week ago, and they have brought it straight back to the stage, a sign that they have confidence in it. But the play isn't doing as well as most new plays; on its second performance it is already taking in only average box office.



Henslowe links



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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

13 November, 1594 - The Grecian Comedy

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

Henslowe writes: ye 13 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at the gresyan ladye ... xvs 

In modern English: 13th November, 1594 ... Received at The Grecian Lady ... 15 shillings.

The Love of Helen and Paris
by Jacques-Louis David (1789)
Today, the company returned to a play that Henslowe calls The Grecian Lady, but which he will later refer to as The Grecian Comedy. We know nothing about this play beyond its title; you can read more about it in the entry for 5 October.

This play about a Grecian lady is an old play that the Admiral's Men brought back to the stage over a month ago, and they are only now reviving it again. It did not attract a large audience last time, and received an even smaller one today. Bringing back this play appears to have been a waste of effort.

Henslowe links



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Monday, 12 November 2018

12 November, 1594 - Tasso's Melancholy

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

Henslowe writes: ye 12 of novmbȝ 1594 ... R at tasso ... xxvs 

In modern English: 12th November, 1594 ... Received at Tasso ... 25 shillings

Tasso in the Madhouse
by Eugene Delacroix (1839)
Today, the Admiral's Men returned to Tasso's Melancholy, a lost play that dramatized the lovesick insanity of the Italian poet Torquato Tasso; you can read more about it in the entry for 13th August.

The players have been performing Tasso's Melancholy at irregular intervals, and this time have waited almost three weeks between performances. The play's box office is slightly up, but only by a little, and it is still below the average for the Rose.

Henslowe links



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Sunday, 11 November 2018

11 November, 1594 - The Venetian Comedy

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

Henslowe writes: ye 11 of novembȝ 1594 ... R at the venesyon comodey ... xxjs 

In modern English: 11th November, 1594 ... Received at The Venetian Comedy ... 21 shillings

The Quack Doctor by Pietro Longhi (late
18th century)
Today, the Admiral's Men revived The Venetian Comedy, a play about which we know nothing beyond its title. You can read more about it in the entry for 27 August.

It's been a month since the players last performed The Venetian Comedy, which had been struggling last time we saw it. Today's box office is better, but not enormously so.


Henslowe links



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Friday, 9 November 2018

9 November, 1594 - Palamon and Arcite

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

Henslowe writes: ye 9 of novembȝ 1594 ... R at palamon ... xijs 

In modern English: 9th November, 1594 ... Received at Palamon ... 12 shillings


Emily watched by the prisoners from their cell
window; from a 15th-century manuscript of
Boccaccio's Teseida
Today, the company revived Palamon and Arcite, an adaptation of Geoffrey Chaucer's "Knight's Tale", in which two noble kinsmen become rivals for the hand of a fair maiden. You can read more about this play in the entry for 18th September.

I don't understand what's going on with Palamon and Arcite. Its box office has been a rollercoaster ride that is currently plummeting into the lower depths after an excellent haul only a week and a half ago. Who knows what'll happen next?


What's next?


There will be no blog entry tomorrow, because 10th November was a Sunday in 1594 and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on 11th November for a week that will include a new play. See you then!


Henslowe links



 

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Thursday, 8 November 2018

8 November, 1594 - Caesar and Pompey


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

Henslowe writes: ye 8 of novembȝ 1594 ... ne ... R at seser & pompie ... iijll ijs 

In modern English: 8th November, 1594 ... New ... Received at Caesar and Pompey ... £3 and 2 shillings.


Today, the Admiral's Men performed a new play! Caesar and Pompey is lost, but it would have told of the civil war that erupted in Ancient Rome between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great. There would have been battle scenes, and no doubt Edward Alleyn played Caesar with gusto. Today's premiere was a great success that played to a full theatre.

The story of Caesar and Pompey


Roman bust of
Pompey
Elizabethan writers knew a great deal about the history of Ancient Rome, thanks to the fulsome narratives in works by Roman historians such as Plutarch, Suetonius, and Caesar himself.

In the middle of the first century BC, Rome was ruled by a triumvirate of three powerful men: Crassus, Julius Caesar and Pompey. Caesar and Pompey had always been rivals, but Crassus had managed to keep the peace.

When Crassus was unexpectedly killed in Parthia while Caesar was away fighting in Gaul, Pompey took the opportunity to seize power. The Roman Senate took his side and ordered Caesar to disband his army and return home.

Caesar's army crossing the
Rubicon, by Jean Fouquet
(15th century)
But Caesar did not obey. He maintained control of his army and marched upon Rome. With his famous crossing of the Rubicon river, which marked the boundary of Roman power, he signified his decision to make war on Pompey.

A civil war thus broke out, culminating in Caesar's defeat of Pompey's forces at Pharsalus in Greece. Pompey fled to Egypt, but its king sided with Caesar and ordered him killed. This left Caesar as sole ruler of the Roman Empire. And so Pompey's tragedy was Caesar's triumph.

Detail from Caesar Contemplating
the Head of Pompey
by Tiepolo (1746)
This, then is the story that most likely played out on the Rose stage today. Of course, we don't know exactly where the playwright chose to end the play, but, as Martin Wiggins points out in his catalogue of British drama, next year a sequel will appear, called The Second Part of Caesar; this title implies that Pompey was not in the sequel, and that today's play thus climaxed with his death.


Other Caesars and Pompeys


In addition to the sequel that will appear next year, Caesar and Pompey may have been the start of something bigger. In their study of Thomas Middleton's lost plays, Doris Feldmen and Kurt Tetzeli von Rosador propose that two later lost plays, Catiline's Conspiracy and Caesar's Fall, could together have been a tetralogy (four-play sequence) staging the entire life of Caesar. But we will talk more of such things later.

The war between Caesar and Pompey was a popular subject for Renaissance dramatists: an earlier lost play of the same title was performed in London in 1580, and George Chapman would later write an unperformed tragedy on the subject. The story has been less popular in the modern age, but the HBO series Rome is a major exception, casting Kenneth Cranham as Pompey and Ciaran Hinds as Caesar over a full season's arc; here's their version of Pompey's final moments (warning: gruesome):




FURTHER READING


Caesar and Pompey information


  • Doris Feldman and Kurt Tetzeli von Rosador, "Lost Plays: A Brief Account", in Thomas Middleton: The Collected Works, edited by Gary Taylor and John Lavagnino (Clarendon Press, 2007), 328-333
  • Martin Wiggins, British Drama, 1533-1642: A Catalogue, vol. 3 (Oxford University Press, 2013), entry 972.
  • Domenico Lovascio, "Caesar and Pompey, Parts 1 and 2"Lost Plays Database (2015). 


Henslowe links



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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

7 November, 1594 - A Knack to Know an Honest Man

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

Henslowe writes: ye 7 of novembȝ 1594 ... R at the knacke ... xxxxiiijs

In modern English: 7th November, 1594 ... Received at The Knack ... 44 shillings

Two  Young Venetian Men (anon., 1515)
Today, the Admiral's Men revived A Knack to Know an Honest Man, their comical moral romance set in Venice. You can read more about this play in the entry for 23rd October.

A Knack to Know an Honest Man continues to buck expectations with very impressive box office. The company has performed it four times in only two-and-a-half weeks, suggesting that they see it as a major money-earner.

Henslowe links



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Tuesday, 6 November 2018

6 November, 1594 - Mahamet

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

Henslowe writes: ye 6 of novembȝ 1594 ... R at mahemette ... xvs

In modern English: 6th November, 1594 ... Received at Mahamet ... 15 shillings
1629 Portuguese illustration of the Battle of Alcazar
Today, the company returned to Mahamet, which may survive today as The Battle of Alcazar. If so, it was a popular old play that told the story of Abd el-Malik's struggle for the throne of Morocco against the vicious usurper Muly Mahamet; you can read more about it in the entry for 21st February, 1592.

The company seems to be settling into a groove of performing Mahamet only once every three weeks.Its box office takings today are awful, and it may be on its way out.

Henslowe links



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Monday, 5 November 2018

5 November, 1594 - Dr Faustus

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

Henslowe writes: ye 5 of novembȝ  1594 ... R at docter fostes ... xxxviijs 

In modern English: 5th November, 1594 ... Received at Dr Faustus ... 38 shillings

Faustus summoning Mephistopheles: from the
1616 text of the play 
Today, the Admiral's Men staged Christopher Marlowe's famous tragedy Dr Faustus, in which a scholar summons a demon and sells his soul to the devil. You can read more about this play in the entry for 2 October.

The company has again waited a fortnight before bringing back Dr Faustus. Its takings today are average, but on the handsomer side of average; they're nothing to sneer at.


Henslowe links



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Sunday, 4 November 2018

4 November, 1594 - Tamburlaine

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

Henslowe writes: ye 4 of octobȝ novembȝ 1594 ... R at tamberlen ... xxixs 

In modern English: 4th November, 1594 ... Received at Tamburlaine ... 29 shillings.


Illustration of the historical Tamburlaine
from Richard Knolles' General History

of the Turks (1603).
Today, the players performed Tamburlaine, Christopher Marlowe's spectacular epic about the bloodthirsty conqueror of Asia. You can read more about this play in the entry for 30th August.

After the strangeness of a fortnight ago, when Tamburlaine received two performances close together, things have returned to normal today, with an average-sized crowd attending the show.

Henslowe links



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Friday, 2 November 2018

2 November, 1594 - Belin Dun

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

Henslowe writes: ye 2 of novembȝ 1594 ... R at bellendon t ...  vijs

In modern English: 2nd November, 1594 ... Received at Belin Dun ... 7 shillings

A highwayman portrayed in Richard
Head's The English Rogue (1666)
Today, the Admiral's Men once again performed Belin Dun, their lost play about the notorious robber who terrorized the highways around Dunstable during the reign of King Henry I; you can read more about this play in the entry for 10 June.

For a second time in a row, the company has now left the once-reliable Belin Dun unperformed for three weeks before returning to it. The box office is now absurdly bad, among the worst ever recorded at the Rose. Surely it's time to put this play out of its misery?


What's next?


There will be no blog entry tomorrow, because 3 November was a Sunday in 1594, and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on 4 November for a week that will include a new play.

Henslowe links



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