The Shakespeare Company, 1594-1642

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Cambridge University Press, Apr 15, 2004 - Drama - 339 pages
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This is the first complete history of the theatre company, created in 1594, which in 1603 became the King's Men. Shakespeare was at the heart of the team of players, who with their successors ran an operation that lasted until the theatres closed in 1642. During those forty-eight years they staged all of Shakespeare's plays, a number of Ben Jonson's, those of Thomas Middleton and John Webster, and almost all of the Beaumont and Fletcher canon. Andrew Gurr provides a comprehensive history of the company's activities. A chapter on their finances explains the unique management system they adopted and two chapters study the fashions in their repertory and the complex relationships with their royal patrons. The 6 appendixes identify the 99 players who worked in the company and the 168 plays they are known to have owned and performed, as well as the key documents from the company's history.
 

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Contents

The plan of 1594
1
The team
12
The social eminence of the Blackfriars
29
The basis for success
31
The companys work
41
Stage practices and dress
45
The changing personality
49
Travelling
54
Royal support
174
The case of Richard II
178
Jacobean politics
180
The politics of Beaumont and Fletcher
187
Caroline interventions
190
Later political consequences of royalism
196
The afterlife
200
The immediate afterlife
201

Jigs
69
Music and musicians
78
Will money buy em? company finances
85
The ChamberlainsKings Mens company accounts
90
Housekeeper finances
111
Workes are playes the public repertory
120
The Shakespearean sequence
130
Later innovations
148
Along the way
161
Royal loyalties
167
The longer afterlife
210
The players
217
Documents about the company
247
The Sharers Papers
271
The repertory
281
Surviving playtexts
289
Court performances
302
Bibliography
308
Index
326
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About the author (2004)

Andrew Gurr is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Reading. As chief academic advisor, he was a key figure in the project to rebuild Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. His many publications include Shakespeare's Opposites, The Admiral's Company 1594-1625, The Shakespearean Stage 1574-1642, 4th edition (2009) and Playgoing in Shakespeare's London, 3rd edition (2004). Professor Gurr regularly contributes articles on Shakespeare to publications ranging from Shakespeare Survey to the Times Literary Supplement.

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