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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: March ::
Re: Blackfriars 1599-1608
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0433  Thursday, 6 March 2003

From:           Tom Pendleton <
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Date:           Friday, 28 Feb 2003 16:50:28 -0500
Subject: 14.0270 Blackfriars 1599-1608
Comment:        RE: SHK 14.0270 Blackfriars 1599-1608

Definitive evidence that the Shakespeare's company didn't play at
Blackfriars before 1608 (or 1609), given the nature of things, cannot
really be expected to exist.  But given the context of theatrical
rivalry--remember these were Hamlet's "little eyases"--it would seem
almost impossible that Shakespeare's company gave a play to the Children
of the Chapel or, equally, that the Children made their theater
available for Shakespeare's company.

The Chapel Children played Jonson's Poetaster and Cynthia's Revels,
Chapman's Gentleman Usher, Marston's The Fawn and Sophonisba, as well as
Eastward Ho, a collaboration among the three playwrights that got
everyone in trouble in 1605. Harbage's Annals (later revised) gives a
number of further titles--none by Shakespeare.

And it is unlikely that Lord Chamberlain himself would have interceded
on his company's behalf: in 1597, he signed a petition to prevent adult
players from acting at Blackfriars.  This would, if I have the dates
right, have been George Carey, who assumed patronage after the death of
their first patron, his father, Henry Carey, who also had held the post
of Lord Chamberlain.

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