Henry VIII (r.1509-1547)

Yes, we’re still lumping plays together under the reigning English monarch, don’t get snooty with us. And we do do other lists. All dates are approximate and often contested, here used primarily to note inception. Feel free to imagine them in slightly different orders and write long angry emails. Many of these plays were also printed, so they have a hinterland outlasting their original performance/s life.

We hadn’t planned to cover this period quite so extensively, but it’s probable that by the end of 2020 you will be able to listen to (at least) a read through of every play we have from the reign of Henry VIII. You’ll be able to take a day off and take a little trip through the whole corpus in one go.

This little list is mostly court sponsored drama, entertainment that was commissioned for court entertainment or by wealthy individuals or institutions – sometimes for fun, debate, soft political peacocking, or explicitly as propaganda.

1513

Youth, anonymous. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20. We haven’t done anything on this play yet, but we soon will. But you are in luck as the Liverpool University Players did a version which can be watched via YouTube. Performed at Rufford Old Hall in Lancashire in 2014. Directed by Sarah Peverley and Martin Poile.

1514

Hickscorner, anonymous. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20.

1517

The Four Elements, John Rastell. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20. We haven’t got much on John Rastell yet, but we did have a chat with someone about him…

1519

Magnificence, Skelton. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20.

1520

Christ’s Burial, anonymous. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20.

Christ’s Resurrection, anonymous. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20.

John the Evangelist, anonymous. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20.

Chester Mystery Cycle – this is a super random nominal date for the area of surviving versions of this particular cycle, which continues to be revised and copied for decades to come. We include it here, partly because the texts we have come from aroundabout now, but also to remind you, the country is awash with Biblical drama, from individual parishes staging the occasional one off, to the better known big collected cycles. There’s another fifty years of this sort of thing, though it does get more fraught/fiddly/complicated after the reformation – coming soon! Go to the Chester Page for more… a lot more!

1525

Callisto and Melebea, anonymous – printed by John Rastell. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20.

Godly Queen Hester – Exploring session in preparation 2019/20.

Witty and Witless by John Heywood. Full cast audio adaptation available.

John John by John Heywood – Full Cast Audio Adaptation plus rehearsal bonus material with uncut script and discussion.

Gentleness and Nobility by John Heywood

Pardoner and the Friar by John Heywood

Play of Love by John Heywood

1530

The Prodigal Son or Pater, Filius et Uxor (fragment) – Exploring session released, more work to follow.

Lucrece (fragment) – NOT CURRENTLY in preparation

1531 – The Four PP by John Heywood

Courage, Kindness, Cleaness (Fragment) – Full Cast Audio Adaptation

D, G, T (Fragment) – Full Cast Audio Adaptation

1533 – NB: The Reformation is sort of beginning about now…

Play of the Weather by John Heywood – Full Cast Audio Adaptation available, as well as a whole project with video archive available online.

The website Staging the Henrician Court, with videos from their staging of The Play of the Weather, can be found here. http://stagingthehenriciancourt.brookes.ac.uk/

Old Christmas or Good Order (Fragment) – Exploring session available, full cast audio adaptation in preparation.

1534 – Coventry Mystery Plays (Two Texts) – Exploring session in preparation 2019/20. We’ve put the surviving Coventy mystery plays here because there is a record of a performance around about now. But remember, Biblical drama is still happening EVERYWHERE.

1535

Temperance and Humility, anonymous. Exploring session available, full cast audio adaptation in preparation. A beginning to the related play Four Cardinal Virtues, below.

1537 – Albion Knight, anonymous. Exploring session available, full cast audio adaptation in preparation.

Thersites, anonymous. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20

1538 – God’s Promises by John Bale. We’ve done a lot, and also not nearly enough on this play. We’ve recorded a rough plain text version, but it’s best to go to the John Bale page to really get the full benefit. To find out more about Bale’s Biblical plays, here’s a discussion about them.

John Baptist’s Preaching by John Bale. Exploring session available, full cast audio adaptation in preparation.

The Temptation by John Bale – Exploring session available, full cast audio adaptation in preparation.

Three Laws by John Bale – Exploring session in preparation 2019/20

King John by John Bale – Exploring session in preparation 2019/20

1539 – Wit and Science by John Redford. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20. Keep an eye on the title, it’ll pop up again in variations.

1540

Love Feigned and Unfeigned by anonymous (fragment). Exploring session recorded, edit coming soon.

An Satire of the Three Estates by Sir David Lindsay – this is around about where an early version of this Scottish play was produced. See Edward and Mary for full entry.

1542 – The Four Cardinal Virtues, anonymous (fragment). Exploring session available, full cast audio adaptation in preparation. Related ending to Temperance and Humility, see above.

1545

Resurrection of Our Lord, anonymous. Not currently scheduled.

1547 – Impatient Poverty, anonymous. Exploring session in preparation 2019/20

There’s a lot to be said about the drama during this reign of Henry VIII, but this is just a general list, so you’ll have to go out and buy a book or something. Lot’s of them about. They’re often found in bookshops. Go on, off you go.