Friday, 4 January 2019

4 January, 1595 - Vallia and Antony

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

Henslowe writes: ye 4 of Jenewary 1594 ... R at valy a for ... xjs 

In modern English: 4th January [1595] ... Received at Vallia for ... 11 shillings.

Today, the Admiral's Men performed a play that we have not yet seen at the Rose - it was apparently an old play dusted off for a revival. Henslowe writes its title as "valy a for", which appears to be an exceptionally odd mis-rendering of the play that he will later call either Vallia and Antony or Antony and Vallia.

Portrait of an unknown couple by Lavinia
Fontana (1580s)
Unfortunately, Vallia and Antony is lost and we have no idea what it was about. No known story has characters of these names in prominent roles. We can only shrug.

Whatever Vallia and Anthony got up to on the stage, their adventures drew only a tiny audience for this revival, so the play cannot have been remembered fondly by the public.

What's next?

There will be no blog entry tomorrow because 5th January was a Sunday in 1595 and the players did not perform. Henslowe's Diary ... as a Blog! will thus return on the 6th - see you then!


Vallia and Antony information

  • Andrew Gurr, Shakespeare's Opposites: The Admiral's Company, 1594-1625 (Cambridge University Press, 2009), 213.
  • Martin Wiggins, British Drama, 1533-1642: A Catalogue, vol. 2 (Oxford University Press, 2012), entry 804.

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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