By Siobhan Keenan (auth.)
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Additional resources for Travelling Players in Shakespeare’s England
117 Conclusion With potential hazards as well as attractions and rewards, the professional players of Shakespearean England were always likely to find life on the road eventful. Nonetheless, the tradition of touring the country was not one that they readily abandoned. These opening pages have offered an introduction to the world of Shakespearean travelling players and their touring practices. The following chapters focus more closely on playing practices and performances in representative spaces used as temporary theatres by Elizabethan and Jacobean touring players.
8 d. geuen', and 'the queenes plaiers the duttons' were given '12 s. 6 d. vnto 7 s. 6 d. 101 In the later sixteenth century some towns shifted towards a system closer to that of the London theatres, charging spectators for entry to the playing space. Leicester's corporate records for 1590-91 note that ten shillings was received 'att the hall door' when the Queen's players performed. 102 What money could be raised through gatherings at other public performances is unknown, as is the manner in which companies divided their income.
The town paid two men for erecting a scaffold for them in the Booth Hall. 68 Professional companies generally travelled with a stock of playing gear; their town hall performances are therefore likely to have been costumed as well. Playing the Town Halls 37 The use of lighting and props (some of which might be borrowed onsite) was, likewise, common. The chair broken by Queen Anne's players at Leicester Guildhall (1605-06) may have been a piece of furniture borrowed for a performance at the hall.