Friday, 28 December 2018

28 December, 1594 - Doctor Faustus and Greenwich Palace

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

Henslowe writes: ye 27 of desembȝ  1594 ... R at docter fostes ... lijs 

In modern English: [28th] December, 1594 ... Received at Dr Faustus ... 52 shillings

Faustus summoning Mephistopheles: from the
1616 text of the play 
Today was the Feast of Holy Innocents, a holiday honouring the infants murdered by King Herod. The Admiral's Men have opted to stage 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.

After a series of extremely disappointing performances, Dr Faustus and his demonic entourage have roared back onto the stage to an almost full Rose. The reason for this success is of course the Christmas season, as Londoners flock to the theatre for some festive necromantic tragedy. 

According to court records, the players also performed to Queen Elizabeth at Greenwich today. They'll do this two more times this Christmas, so I'll write more about these visits later.

What's next? 

There will be no blog entry tomorrow, because 29th December was a Sunday in 1594 and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on the 30th and we'll see the rest of the Christmas season!

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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