“To find the players and all that longeth therto”: Notes on the Production of Medieval Drama in Coventry
Although I shall touch generally on the Coventry Corpus Christi Play, I intend to concentrate on the dramatic productions of the Cappers’ Company, especially their pageant-play of The Resurrection, The Harrowing of Hell, and The Meeting with the Maries. The play was lost sometime after 1597 (see 1597 inventory below) but the Cappers’ accounts contain much interesting if often puzzling information about it. My notes, therefore, will ask rather than answer questions and will deal with the identity of Robert Crow, Capper, playwright, actor and property-man; the number of performances the pageant received; the revisions it underwent; some Capper actors; and, finally, stage properties, costumes and the stage itself. These discussions are prefaced by a comment on the nature of the Cappers’ accounts and the overall cost of pageant production in the sixteenth century.
KeywordsSixteenth Century Pilat Head Henry VIII Pageant Cost Dramatic Activity
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.T. Sharp, A Dissertation on the Pageants or Dramatic Mysteries Anciently Performed at Coventry (Coventry, 1825), e.g. S49;Google Scholar
- J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps, Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare, 2 vols. (7th ed., Brighton, 1887),Google Scholar
- 2.G. Wickham, Early English Stages I [London and New York, 1959], p. 296).Google Scholar
- 3.Joan C. Lancaster, “Crafts and Industries” in Victoria County History of Warwick, VIII (1969), pp. 155–160.Google Scholar
- M. D. Harris, EETS o.s. 135 (1907–1913).Google Scholar
- 4.C. Phythian-Adams, “Ceremony and the citizen: The communal year at Coventry 1450–1550,” in P. Clark and P. Slack, eds., Crisis and Order in English Towns 1500–1700 (1972), pp. 57–85.Google Scholar
- 5.F. Smith, Coventry: Six Hundred Years of Municipal Life (1945), pp. 78–79.Google Scholar