On the first day of Christmas, my noblemen's troupes beguiled me...
In 1582, two troops played at court who go on to feature importantly in the commercial playhouses in London. One was the Earl of Derby's Men, and another associated with his son. What was he commonly known as?
On the second day of Christmas, my astrologer flirted futilely...
In 1599, Simon Forman went into the fields to have a parley with a woman. What playhouse had they both just left?
On the third day of Christmas, my yeoman acted slyly...
Yeoman of the guard Richard Hicks and his son-in-law Peter Honingborne lay suit against Jerome Savage, defaming his character, complaining that he will draw on his "great friends" to prejudice the suit, and pointing out that a playhouse is no fit establishment for the neighbourhood. We know more about these figures thanks to surviving (and genuinely quite exciting) sewer records. What playhouse is in question?
The Red Lion
On the fourth day of Christmas, inevitably some Lyly…
About what figure did Lyly complain, "Would those Comedies might be allowed to be plaid that are pend, and then I am sure he would be decyphered, and so perhaps discouraged"?
On the fifth day of Christmas, my clown joked very drily...
At "the Cross-Keys in Gracious-Street... [Richard] Tarlton then (with his fellows) playing at the Bell... came into the Cross Keys." On this occasion, he humiliated a man called Banks through a double act with what?
An ingenious device
A brazen head
An impertinent broomstaff
A horse of very strange qualities
On the sixth day of Christmas, who threw shade on Marley?
In a tirade against new fads in stage poetry, who uses an early (and derogatory) instance of the phrase "blank verse" ?
On the seventh day of Christmas, who acted far too noisy...
In 1579, London complained on behalf of the Queen that "diverse disordered persons have of late in the nighttime been disorderly, disquieted her most excellent Majesty from her sleep and natural rest by shooting of guns and Calyvers, and throwing of squibs [fireworks], by sounding of drums and fifes upon the River of Thames to her Majesty's great offence."
By 1594, Lord Hunsdon makes a concession to the City council that his company of players (the Lord Chamberlain's Men--Shakespeare's company) will no longer use what to attract people to their plays?
Flags and Trumpets
Drums and Trumpets
Guns and Trumpets
Playbills and Drums
On the eighth day of Christmas, who had no life of Riley?
Who both sues and petitions to be able to have control of a lease and sublet a playhouse, partly because her husband has lately died and "she has tenne children . . . and nothing left to relieve her and her poor children"?
Anne Farrant at the Blackfriars
Margaret Brayne at The Theatre
Alice Layston at the Cross Keys
Ellen Burbage at The Theatre
And a human in a stage tree…
What play features a tree that is struck with an axe and then "poureth out blood," before pronouncing: "Go, ladies, tell Ceres I am that Fidelia that so long knit garlands in her honour, and, chased with a satyr, by prayer to the gods became turned to a tree; whose body now is grown over with a rough bark, and whose golden locks are covered with green leaves, yet whose mind nothing can alter, neither the fear of death, nor the torments."
Robert Greene's James IV
George Peele's The Old Wives Tale
John Lyly's Love's Metamorphosis
Robert Wilson's Fair Em