Were the early modern City of London and its livery companies really enemies of the theatre, or actually its friends and sponsors? It is often assumed that the early modern City of
Were the early modern City of London and its livery companies really enemies of the theatre, or actually its friends and sponsors?
It is often assumed that the early modern City of London and the playhouses situated in and around the metropolis inhabited completely different worlds. Contrary to their reputation as organisations comprised of dour puritans hostile to playgoing, the City of London and its constituent livery companies were, however, active sponsors of players and playwrights, and numerous performance venues were located within the City’s boundaries. The City had rich and enduring performance traditions that until recently have been given insufficient attention.
Building on the pathbreaking work of Bill Ingram, David Kathman and, more recently, the Engendering the Stage project, as well as Professor Hill’s current research in the City archives, this talk will explore some of the manifold connections between the City and the stage, with particular reference to the actors and dramatists who plied their theatrical trade at the Rose. Reciprocal relationships between the City and the stage fuelled the development of early modern drama and it is only by tracing these relationships that one can gain a fuller understanding of how theatricality in this period evolved and functioned.
Tracey Hill is Professor Emerita of Early Modern Literature and Culture at Bath Spa University, and specialises in the cultural history of the early modern City of London. She is the author of two books — Anthony Munday and Civic Culture (Manchester University Press, 2004) and Pageantry and Power: a cultural history of the early modern Lord Mayor’s Show, winner of the David Bevington Prize (Manchester University Press, 2010) — as well as a number of book chapters and journal articles. Her latest publications include essays in Civic Performance (Routledge, 2022) and The Arden Research Handbook of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama (Arden, 2023). She is currently editor-in-chief of the ongoing Records of Early English Drama project Civic London 1558–1642, and is an editor for the Map of Early Modern London mayoral shows collection. She is herself a Citizen of London and a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Founders.
Tickets are £7 (£5 for Friends of The Rose) and can be booked through TryBooking. You will receive a link to this Zoom event via email. Any additional contributions for The Rose Playhouse will be much appreciated and go towards funding the Rose Revealed Project.
Please note that booking for this event will close at 5.30 pm on 5 June.