The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1336 Sunday, 3 June 2001
Date: Friday, 1 Jun 2001 12:31:22 -0700
Subject: Lord Chamberlain
In 1594, the Lord Chamberlain informed the Lord Mayor of London that
while "heretofore they [the Lord Chamberlain's Men] began not their
Plaies till towards fower a clock, they will now begin at two, & have
don betwene fower and five," suggesting that two to three hours'
performance was the norm--at least for that company--and other sources
confirm this for other playing groups as well. We know there were
exceptions to this, however, and some plays may have taken as many as
five hours to perform, as Sir John Davies' "In Fuscum" attests.
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