Early Liz I (1558 to 1575ish)

Yes, we know, following the reigning monarch isn’t necessarily the best way to break up time periods, but it sort of works and… well what you gonna do. As per other pages, the order of staging is rough and plays live on longer and longer as printing extends their lives… The list now gets super selective. We’re mostly going to list things we think we’ll be touching on in the next few years. There’s increasingly too much to mention.

1560

Robin Hood and the Friar by Anonymous – full cast audio adaptation has been produced and we’ve run workshops on the play. So, more might be on the way.

Robin Hood and the Potter (fragment) by Anonymous – Full Cast Audio Adaptation available on the podcast. Also part of some work we’ve workshopped elsewhere, so more may be coming.

1561

Cambyses by Thomas Preston – Earliest dating places the play around 1560/61, though it has been placed up to 1570. Exploring session available, and more work is coming on the prologues and epilogues.

Gorboduc by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville – or The Tragedy of Porrex and Ferrex – exploring sessions available and future plans are in the works.

Tom Tiler and His Wife – an exploring session is available.

There is also this version available on YouTube which was produced for the UCL Centre for Early Modern Exchanges – directed by Dr Emma Whipday and produced by Dana Kovarik.

Patient Grissell by John Phillip – nothing doing at this time

The Pedler’s Prophecy by someone – This is a really problematic play as it features a lot of unpleasant anti-immigrant dialogue. It’s also really weird. We’re very interested in workshoping some of this text in the future. Exploring session available.

1563

The Bugbears by John Jeffere – nothing on the radar at the moment.

1565

King Darius by Somebody/s – we recorded an exploring session and it threw up so many questions about what the hell this play is. It’s either a genius work of experimental theatre or it’s… a bit of a mess. Or both. Either way, watch the videos. Other elements recorded and on their way soon.

Damon and Pythias by Richard Edwards – exploring session of this rather amiable play is available.

The Cruel Debtor (probably) by William Wager (Fragment) – TWO exploring sessions are available – one on the podcast below and another as part of a general fragments session on YouTube.

1566

Supposes by George Gascoigne – we haven’t done anything yet, but it has had an outing elsewhere. The Young Actors Company produced this version in 2017.

Apius and Virginia by R. B. An exploring session is available on YouTube.

Jocasta (translated by Gascoigne) from Kinwelmershe

Gismond of Salerne by Robert Wilmot

1567

The Play of the Vice or, Horestes by John Pickering

The Trial of Treasure by William Wager – Exploring session available on YouTube.

1568

The Marriage of Wit and Science – there’s a lot of marrying of wit, science and other such devices. This is variation two, following on from The Play of Wit and Science, and will be followed by a later Marriage play. Exploring session starts about an hour into this playlist.

Enough is as Good as a Feast by William Wager – there’s a lot to like about this play. Our discussion led us to many modern parallels.

Like Will to Like by Ulpian Fulwell – or, Like Will to Like, quoth the Devil to the Collier. Exploring session available in two parts. We really dug into this less than well known text.

1569

The Most Virtuous and Godly Susanna by Thomas Garter

The Longer Thou Livest the More Fool Thou Art by William Wager – this is a deceptively complex play that demands more exploration. Which is sort of what we do. Exploring session available in two parts on YouTube

1570

Misogonus by some person probably

Clyomon and Clamydes by some guy you know – this is the earliest this play could live – but it has a long life, so we’ll probably add it into a later page too. It’s a fabulous tale of two knights trying to do knightly things – later taken up by the Queen’s Men. And much fun is had by all. WE LOVE THIS PLAY!

July and Julian by someone certainly.

Processus Satanae (Fragment) – This could go much earlier, it’s really difficult to place. We’ve produced a play around version of the surviving text, as Satan sues God for raiding Hell for Adam and Eve.

1571

New Custom – Exploring Session available on YouTube. A full on debate drama, be prepared for some serious talk.

1575

Glass of Government by Gascoigne

The Chester Mystery Cycle – “What?” we hear you cry – we’re well into the early modern by now, what’s this doing here? Well, this is the last gasp for Biblical drama, the tradition is pretty much dead from here on in – but it’s important to remind you that until this point these plays are always there in the background. A little less often as time passes, but still there. Until about now. Now they shift towards memory.

And what’s next? Well, for most of this page of time there have been lots spaces where regular performances occur. Let’s call them Playhouses, because that’s what they were. Next up, some people start getting more organised, and do a bit of speculation. Some slightly bigger playhouses are a coming…