Lawsuits and Leases at Newington Butts Playhouse

Following Laurie Johnson's introduction to the area, we are thankful to Sally-Beth MacLean for some archival insight into Jerome Savage and the playhouse in our second feature on the Newington Butts Playhouse (with MS images courtesy of The National Archives and Canterbury Cathedral Archives)... *** The early playhouse at Newington Butts continues to elude new … Continue reading Lawsuits and Leases at Newington Butts Playhouse

Genre and the Elizabethan Troupe

We are very happy to present below a guest post from Elizabeth E. Tavares (Pacific University Oregon) on genre and the Elizabethan troupe. *** What I find most pressing about Andy Kesson’s post, “Generic excitement,” are his methodological queries: how does genre organize our scholarship? To what extent do we implicitly rely on this typology as an “interpretive precondition”? … Continue reading Genre and the Elizabethan Troupe

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

Post from the Past 1: Spying the Playhouses

Catlyn to Walsingham, 1587 This post is the first in a series that will share our work in the archive, including photographed images, transcriptions, and a brief discussion of some of the archival material we have been surveying.  While many libraries are strict on what can and cannot be shared online--particularly with photographs--the British Library permits controlled and … Continue reading Post from the Past 1: Spying the Playhouses

“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”

Early Thoughts on the Archives

…and now for something completely different. After last week’s performance workshops, this post moves us from the rehearsal space back to the library; I have been revisiting archival documents associated with the rise of the commercial playhouses and getting a clearer sense of the context that surrounds extant references, restrictions, and correspondence about playing. The … Continue reading Early Thoughts on the Archives

An Elizabethan Haunting: Antitheatricality and Playgoing

A haunted theatre these days is a perfect premise for a horror film. It is also, apparently, a backstage reality at a prominent West End venue, the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane—perhaps because it is the oldest surviving and functioning theatre construction in England. There are, of course, old superstitions about the Scottish Play and worries … Continue reading An Elizabethan Haunting: Antitheatricality and Playgoing