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By Siobhan Keenan

Performing businesses and their performs in Shakespeare's London explores the intimate and dynamic courting among performing businesses and playwrights during this seminal period in English theatre historical past. Siobhan Keenan's research comprises chapters at the traditions and workings of up to date performing businesses, playwriting practices, levels and staging, audiences and buyers, each one illustrated with precise case experiences of person performing businesses and their performs, together with troupes corresponding to woman Elizabeth's gamers, 'Beeston's Boys' and the King's males and works via Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Brome and Heywood. we're familiar with targeting person playwrights: appearing businesses and their performs in Shakespeare's London makes the case that we additionally have to take into consideration the corporations for which dramatists wrote and with whose individuals they collaborated, if we want to higher comprehend the dramas of the English Renaissance degree.

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By their account, Henslowe’s actions were motivated by his fear of the players’ growing financial independence. ’91 If the latter accusation is true, it would seem that Henslowe deliberately chose to keep players and companies in his debt as a way of securing their residence at his playhouses and of exercising greater control over their activities. After Henslowe’s early experiences at the Rose and knowing the difficulties of keeping companies at his theatres, it is perhaps not surprising that Henslowe should have sought to ensure greater stability for his investments, especially once he could no longer rely on the kinds of personal ties that linked him and his son-in-law, Edward Alleyn, the leader of the Lord Admiral’s Men.

In 1594, when the playhouses reopened after prolonged plague closure, the newly formed Lord Chamberlain’s Men and the Lord Admiral’s Men were licensed to perform at the Theatre and the Rose, respectively. Officially, no other playing companies or playing spaces were licensed for performance in London from this date. indd 28 24/01/2014 15:16 The acting companies 29 for the queen during the holiday seasons. 57 Either way, if this was their aim they were not wholly successful as the 1594 order did not prevent the creation of new playhouses, the continued use of other theatres such as the Curtain, or the emergence of new companies in the 1590s.

Indd 22 24/01/2014 15:16 The acting companies 23 to have been recruited on the road and/or from provincial troupes. 38 Finding a way in to the theatrical profession was not the only challenge for those keen to become actors on the London stage. Although there were acting companies that lasted for many years, there were many more that enjoyed only brief careers in London and there was a regular traffic of actors between companies in and beyond the metropolis, as troupes vied for the few authorized playing venues and faced plague-induced playhouse closures and, later, periodic impresario-led reorganizations and relocations.

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