George Peele (1556-1596)

A Londoner who wrote a lot of very different material, he looms super large over the late 1580’s and early 1590’s. We’ve completed an overview of his extant dramatic works, and some other more doubtful texts – the breadth of his canon has many flanging edges. Plays listed in order of height.

The Arraignment of Paris – a little oasis of the pastoral, with gods and goddesses, golden balls and magical trees. And poor Colin!

The Hunting of Cupid – a lost play, fragments of which survive. Like Paris above, it seems to be about gods and love. This audio version of the fragments is a play through the surviving text.

The Battle of Alcazar – based on relatively recent history, it’s all about getting to the battle. Featuring spectacle, fireworks, and very lost sea captains.

David and Bathsabe – it’s a play featuring sexual violence and asks, if doesn’t always answer, questions of male power.

The Troublesome Reign of King John – we’re explored this play over four sessions and had a lot to discuss.

Edward I – exploring sessions are available, as well as a ballad on Queen Elinor (not by Peele), which muddles which Elinor somewhat.

The Old Wives’ Tale – is extremely fun, it’s funny, it’s a beautiful mash up of literary tropes. We’ve run two exploring sessions – one as a stop start discussion and one as a run through – in the playlist below.

He also wrote civic pageantry – for which we have two surviving texts of Lord Mayors shows (1585 and 1591) which can be seen discussed in this exploring session.

Doubtful Attributions

Clyomon and Clamydes – probably not by Peele, though there are a couple of passages that might convince. We’re mostly putting it here because it’s amazingly fun. So, dive in, see what you think.

If you’d like to just leave some Peele playing in the background – here’s a handy general playlist… let George wash over you.

Productions By Other People

The Troublesome Reign of King John has been zoom performanced by the lovely Brave Spirits Theatre – – on YouTube.