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By Siobhan Keenan

Performing businesses and their performs in Shakespeare's London explores the intimate and dynamic dating among appearing businesses and playwrights during this seminal period in English theatre historical past. Siobhan Keenan's research contains chapters at the traditions and workings of latest performing businesses, playwriting practices, phases and staging, audiences and consumers, each one illustrated with exact case stories of person performing businesses and their performs, together with troupes equivalent to woman Elizabeth's avid gamers, 'Beeston's Boys' and the King's males and works by way of Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Brome and Heywood. we're acquainted with concentrating on person playwrights: appearing businesses and their performs in Shakespeare's London makes the case that we additionally have to take into consideration the corporations for which dramatists wrote and with whose participants they collaborated, if we want to larger comprehend the dramas of the English Renaissance level.

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Sample text

1622–5 The company of Lady Elizabeth’s players that took up residence at Christopher Beeston’s Cockpit Theatre in 1622 appears to have been largely new in its membership. The first evidence of the new London-based company appears in the office books of the Master of the Revels and is the entry recording the licensing of The Changeling for performance by the troupe (7 May 1622). 105 With the exception of Moore, these players appear to have been new to Lady Elizabeth’s Men. Beeston started his playing career as an apprentice to Augustine Phillips of the King’s Men, later joining the Queen’s players (1603) and becoming a theatre investor and manager in 1616 when he built the Cockpit Playhouse.

Like the Red Bull troupe, the Salisbury Court players did not perform under a specific patron’s name but rather as a ‘King’s Revels’ company. The fact that the latter pair of companies were not assigned to a specific royal family member might partly default from the fact that there were fewer royals available to act as patrons in 1626, but it also seems to reflect the diminishing importance of named patrons as the Revels Office gradually opted for a system of annual licences for acting companies.

The next significant changes occurred in 1572 when the regulations on players were further tightened with a proclamation calling for the execution of the statutes against unlawful retainers and a new Act for the Punishment of Vagabonds and for Relief of the Poor and Impotent. 50 The regulative ‘net’ was further tightened in 1598 when the Act for the Punishment of Vagabonds was revised to remove the power to license players from Justices of the Peace. indd 26 24/01/2014 15:16 The acting companies 27 limited yet again, being officially confined to the Master of the Revels and the royal family, although not everyone chose to heed this change.

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