Documents of the Rose Playhouse
Carol Chillington Rutter
Manchester University Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 246 pages
Philip Henslowe's Rose was Elizabethan London's first South Bank playhouse. This text sets the background of this working theatre, against which the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries can be understood.
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I'm loving it. She's mixed the dry numbers of Henslowe's diary together with other documents and commentary that brings a thriving, and at times struggling theatre company and producer vividly to life. Having run small theatres in Canada for 20 years, I recognize many of the logistical, financial and just-holding-it-together challenges the author brings into relief. Very compelling and not too,dry. Also appreciate the author's very helpful filling out of the already crazy Elizabethan spellings. Can't imagine how much work went into making this extraordinary work.
An excellent account of the story of this important theatre, with full and accurate details from Henslowe's Diary and elsewhere and an intelligent background given to the documentation. Contains an interesting account, too, of the then-recent excavation of the Rose on Bankside, where archeological evidence backed up and illuminated the written record. A well-written and humane book - a real treasure.