Players and Performances in Early Modern Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Bristol

Lowe, Sarah Elizabeth (2008) Players and Performances in Early Modern Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Bristol. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Abstract

This thesis is an analysis of the responses in the early modern period of civic and church authorities to local and visiting groups of players in Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Bristol. It is also an examination of the venues in which these groups performed. Reactions to these groups varied, and this study explores how these, both positive and negative, were affected by economic, legal and cultural factors. The thesis proceeds chronologically, and is thus divided into twenty-year intervals in order to draw the most effective comparisons between the three urban centres over a number of decades. The first period under examination, the 1560s, records the early reaction of the three settlements to the phenomenon of the Elizabethan travelling company. The relationship between the regional authorities and the patrons comes to the fore in the second period, the 1580s, as the dominance of the ambitious Earl of Leicester grew in the region. Legislation decreeing the withdrawal of mayoral control over itinerant troupes at the close of the sixteenth century, the third period, released civic officials from previous obligations and this influenced the level and character of their hospitality towards the ‘noble’ companies. Although evidence is scarce, the records of Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Bristol contain clues to an attitude towards these entertainers during the reign of James I, the final period under scrutiny. The study is based on the extant economic records for the region, as these contain much fruitful information. This thesis consciously places itself in dialogue with the internationally acclaimed REED Project, and draws on the information collated by the editors of the volumes for Bristol and Gloucestershire. A parallel examination of the entries into municipal records of the three towns, and the areas around them, in conjunction with genealogical and topographical evidence, has allowed for an interpretation of the data in a wide regional context, revealing that although each town tolerated players in their municipal spaces, with the officials personally entertaining the companies on some occasions, the reception of the companies varied significantly from town to town and across the historic period.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Theatre History; England
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR621 Drama
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Liberal and Performance Arts > Literary and Critical Studies
Depositing User: Phil Davis
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 08:05
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 16:04
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/3394

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