This book throws new light on the complexity and variety of practices which may be defined as ‘theatrical’ in a broad sense in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English drama. The volume deals first with the mainstream of dramatic production, starting from the anti-theatrical debate which characterized the whole period and increased in intensity as it went on. Here Shakespeare and Ben Jonson come on stage with their rejoinders to this issue. At the same time, while the universities were offering a kind of theatre workshop importing Latin and Italian models, popular performances were being staged in non-theatrical spaces. Tournaments, and their aristocratic codes, are explored as well as more popular and ‘marginal’ spectacles – such as those of conny-catching improvisers, jugglers, gypsy dancers and fortune-tellers, clowns and prophetesses.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2008. 362 pp., 3 ill.
Contents: Paola Pugliatti: Introduction – Alessandro Serpieri: Abuse and Use of the Theatre: Shakespeare and the Puritans
– Susan Payne: Staging Marginality: Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair – Claudia Corti: Civic Disorder and Theatrical Order:
Representations of Popular Rebellions in London at the End of the Sixteenth Century – Mario Domenichelli: Tournaments as Triumphal
Shows in Shakespeare’s Time – Fernando Cioni: Stages at the University of Cambridge in Tudor England – Paola Pugliatti: Greene’s
Vision: The Conny-Catching Pamphlets and the Commedia dell’Arte – Keir Elam: ‘Enter Clowne’: The Travels of
the English Comic Performer, from Offstage to Centre Stage to Text – Donatella Pallotti: Shows of Holiness: Women’s Prophetic
Performance and its Perception in Early Modern England – Paola Pugliatti: A Lost Lore: The Activity of Gypsies as Performers
on the Stage of Elizabethan-Jacobean Street Theatre – Nicoletta Caputo: Entertainers ‘on the Vagabond Fringe’: Jugglers in
Tudor and Stuart England.