Filed under play

Censorship in Charleston 1787

Censorship in Charleston 1787

In Shakespeare’s time, travelling players were considered akin to rogues and vagabonds so needed the protection and patronage of a noble to survive. In 1727 England passed the Chamberlain’s Act requiring theatres to be licensed to perform plays, to prevent the vicious satires against prime minister Robert Walpole. Life for travelling players was also hard … Continue reading


Words and Image of a Nobody

Words and Image of a Nobody

There are a lot of images from our history that suggest there was some heavy drug taking happening – disproportioned people, strange animals etc. These are often accepted as elements of folklore but there may have been a more straightforward explanation, as a mans of insulting the rich and powerful without getting arrested. This was … Continue reading

Popes and Ventriloquy

I love reading about early theatre performances. In the early 18th century the first Prime Minister Robert Walpole was annoyed at the many scurrilous plays and comedies insulting him and his ministry so he passed the Licensing act of 1737 which censored public performances and continued into the 20th century. This led to shows advertising … Continue reading

The Origin of the Mayday Call

Between The Ears: Seelonce, Seelonce :This was a fascinating broadcast on BBC Radio3 by musician Tim van Eyken, dramatist Joseph Wilde and producer Juilan May on the history of the distress call. They began with the origins of distress calls; when the telegraph was invented, they used SOS, the initials of Save Our Souls, but … Continue reading

French PoWs in to Selkirk

This is some more from Highways & Byways on the Border. On a certain occasion they heard of of a great French success in Russia. Two prisoners concealed themselves and were locked up in the church one Sunday after evening service; about midnight these men admitted their comrades and together the roused sleeping Selkirk by … Continue reading

Tracey on Dennis Potter

In Tracey Thorne’s book, ‘Naked At the Albert Hall’ she ranges over a lot of examples of music and song, but here she refers to Dennis Potter’s final interview with Melvyn Bragg in 1994, discussing the use of lip-synching in ‘Pennies from Heaven’ an this echoes what I heard Ray Davies say about the death … Continue reading

Gender and Theatre

Here’s a short discussion on women and theatre, using Eddie Redmayne’s role in ‘The Danish Girl’ as a starting point. It’s all very interesting, but we can never be sure why people cross dressed in the past. A woman dressed as a man may have been simply to avoid being assaulted, or for trying to … Continue reading

The Beaux’ Stratagem

This play by George Farquarson dates from about 1715 and this is a belated review of the NT transmission some time ago. It is one of the funniest plays I’ve seen and full of action and brilliant acting. It is basically about two young men who bow their fortunes in London then flee to LIchfield … Continue reading