Play marred by an affray at Norwich

Anon. (1583 or earlier)

NB. "Play marred by an affray at Norwich" is a descriptive assignation for this otherwise untitled play. The name is used here for convenience.

Historical Records

<Reproduce relevant documentary evidence from historical records here. (For example, entries from Henslowe's Diary).>

Theatrical Provenance

This play was performed on the afternoon of Saturday 15 June 1583, by the newly formed Queen's Men (at the time only a month old) at the Red Lion in Norwich. Players present included John Bentley (in the role of a Duke), John Singer, and Richard Tarlton. When a playgoer (Winsdon) attempted to enter the venue without paying admission, an affray followed and another man ("George") was killed. Bentley and Singer were held in prison for two days, and failed to appear at the associated court hearing on Monday 23 September 1583.

Probable Genre(s)


Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues

Unknown. The reference to swords in scabbards and costuming including a beard and a black doublet do not shed any light on the possible subject matter.

References to the Play

<List any known or conjectured references to the lost play here.>

Critical Commentary

Wiggins (744), referring to this simply as "Play", notes that "Attempts to identify the play on the basis of the known repertory of the Queen's Men are futile, since most of the extant plays are almost certainly not early enough"; he therefore classifies this as a lost play.

For What It's Worth

(Information welcome)

Works Cited

Roberts-Smith, Jennifer. "The Red Lion and the White Horse: Inns Used by Patronized Performers in Norwich, 1583-1624". Early Theatre 10.1 (2007): 109-44.

Site created and maintained by David McInnis, University of Melbourne; updated 22 March 2017.