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Yes, it has a watermark. I found it on Look and Learn...

Yes, it has a watermark. I found it on Look and Learn…

Not quite today, perhaps – in fact, the day before yesterday: on 6 September 1642, an act of Parliament shut down all English theatres for good

Well, no – that wasn’t to be, of course (and we may like to think that you can’t just abolish theatre like that) but such was the intention of those kill-joys, the Puritans. Truth be told, they and their fathers and grandfathers had been harping about it all through Elizabeth’s reign, and James’ as well, and Charles’ – plays, players and playhouses being clearly the devil’s work and the source of all kinds of evils. Still, it seems that taking theatre away from the English was not all that easy, and for decades, theatre-wise, Puritans hadn’t managed much more than to make an egregious nuisance of themselves. By 1642 things had changed, they controlled Parliament and were in a position to obtain a complete ban on playing, ostensibly on the grounds of “unseemliness” – of all things.

Not that it worked spectacularly well – and some day we’ll talk about clandestine theatre between 1642 and 1660 – and then, when the Restoration came, London went into a theatrical frenzy…

Still – why am I telling you this? Because I just found Eudophusikon: Today in Theatre History – Musings on the history of staged performance by Peter A. Davis. And it’s just what it says on the tin: a very nearly day-by-day collection of theatrical events through the centuries. As far as I can tell, posts are not added very often anymore, but the archives are a treasure trove of anecdotes and stories told in a very pleasant manner – and make for great reading.

Definitely worth a visit.

 

 

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