Monday, 11 February 2019

11 February, 1595 - The French Comedy

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

Henslowe writes: ye 11 of febreary 1594 ... ne ... R at the frenshe Comodey ... ls 

In modern English: 11th February, 1595 ... New ... Received at The French Comedy ... 50 shillings.

Today, the Admiral's Men premiered a new play! Unfortunately, it is yet another play that has been lost to the vicissitudes of time, and its title is so generic that we know nothing about it - except, of course, that was a comedy set in France.

French commedia dell'arte performers,
from a 17th-century engraving by Jacques Callot
Elizabethans enjoyed making fun of the French, but it is impossible to speculate on what, if anything, the audience laughed at in this play. All we can say is that The French Comedy earned 50 shillings today, which suggests a large crowd, but not as big as one might normally expect at a premiere.


The French Comedy information

  • Martin Wiggins, British Drama, 1533-1642: A Catalogue, vol. 3 (Oxford University Press, 2013), entry 989.

Henslowe links


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