Mack, The

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Historical Records

Performance Records

Playlists in Philip Henslowe's diary

Fol. 11v (Greg I.22)
ye 21 of febreary 1594 . . . . ne . . . . Rd at the macke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iijll



Theatrical Provenance

"The Mack" enjoyed a single performance by the Admiral's men at the Rose (its debut, according to Henslowe's "ne"); it appears in no other extant theater records.



Probable Genre(s)

Comedy? Harbage

Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Information welcome.



References to the Play

None known.



Critical Commentary

Malone observed that "The Mack," like "The Set at Maw," named a card game (p. 296).


Collier repeated Malone's observation, then added his own guess that it "was perhaps written in consequence of the success of the Maw, already many times represented" (p. 49).


Fleay, BCED, as he had for "The Set at Maw," identified "The Mack" with a much later play by John Day, Come see a Wonder, 1623. He believed that Day's play was the second generation of Thomas Dekker's The Wonder of a Kingdom (1623), and that at some deeper level was the lost "Mack": "The original Dekker play was a "Card play" (see the last nine lines), probably The Mack, an Admiral's play of 1595" (1.136). Fleay further surmised a revival "at the Bull," by which he apparently meant not "The Mack" but the Dekker play, with its incorporated bits of "The Mack." Greg II


Gurr has nothing to say about "The Mack" beyond its having received one performance marked "ne" in Henslowe's records (p. 94).


Wiggins, Catalogue (#990) resurrects the suggestion of Collier that "The Mack" was "probably a follow-up to the previous year's Set at Maw. Addressing the possible story of the play, he suggests that the play of the card game "may have been that the action followed the structure and process of the game; but in the case the rules are unknown" (#990).



For What It's Worth

(repeat here Cash's description of "maw")



Works Cited