The First Blackfriars Playhouse 1576-84: Ownership, Repertoire, Audience

On the 18th February, Before Shakespeare and The Dolphin's Back will return Elizabethan drama to the site of the First (and Second) Blackfriars Playhouse(s).  We are hosting a workshop in the Apothecaries' Hall, built on what was formerly part of the Blackfriars complex that housed the two different playhouses (where we'll focus on the First … Continue reading The First Blackfriars Playhouse 1576-84: Ownership, Repertoire, Audience

Post from the Past 2: A Week in the Life of William Fleetwood

Fleetwood to Burghley, 1584. William Fleetwood was a significant figure in Elizabethan London.  He studied in early life at Eton and Oxford before attending the Middle Temple and being called to the bar there in 1551.  He was a freeman of the Merchant Taylors (1557), a long-serving MP (for London in 1572, 1584, 1586, and 1589), and an experienced … Continue reading Post from the Past 2: A Week in the Life of William Fleetwood

The Three Ladies of London and Red Lion workshop, 22 January 2017

Our first workshop with The Dolphin's Back took place yesterday (22 January 2017), exploring the earliest surviving play from English commercial theatre on the site of the earliest purpose-built commercial playhouse. Exactly 450 years after John Brayne sought to "frame, make, or build and set up . . . within the court or yard lying on … Continue reading The Three Ladies of London and Red Lion workshop, 22 January 2017

“Rent must be paid, duties dischargd”: A Note on Elizabethan Landlords

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST, on THAT SHAKESPEARE LIFE For more on this subject, listen to Callan talking with Cassidy Cash on her recommended podcast series, That Shakespeare Life. While estate agents and others expressed disapproval, others will have welcomed this morning's leaked announcement from the Chancellor's Autumn Statement about announcing a crackdown on letting fees: those administration costs, credit checks, … Continue reading “Rent must be paid, duties dischargd”: A Note on Elizabethan Landlords

The Before Shakespeare Guide to the Elizabethan East End

Summer 1567.  A feature piece for Elizabethan developers, house buyers, tourists, and those interested in keeping up with the latest cultural developments just outside of the City of London.  In this feature, we tell you why it might just be worth buying that coaching inn with the extra land, or finally getting around to doing something … Continue reading The Before Shakespeare Guide to the Elizabethan East End

“Specially youthe”: Regulating London “Venues”

Social media has reacted with frustration and resentment at the news this week that one of London’s most famous nightclubs, Fabric, has had its licence revoked (#fabricreview). While I will avoid being overtly political, here, the closure of the nightclub inevitably prompts questions over responsibility for regulating such venues, the legitimacy of closing a popular … Continue reading “Specially youthe”: Regulating London “Venues”

Putting the Shh into Shakespeare

In our first blog post I raised the question of the defining characteristics of the sixteenth and seventeenth century playhouses: their sheer number, their architectural and performance function, their attempts to capitalise on the art of theatre, and most crucially the way they were the product of working people as financiers, artists and core audience. … Continue reading Putting the Shh into Shakespeare