Three Plays in One
Chrystmas, Twelftyde & Shrouetyde and making choyse 5 of plaies Anno Regni Regine Elizabethe: xxvijo 1584
- The Charges of those tymes viz. betwene the laste daie of October 1584. Anno xxvjto Regni Regine Elizabethe and the —— of ffebruary .1584. Annoque Regni Regine Elizabethe predicte xxvijo did rise aswell by meanes of attending making choyse, reforminge and altering of suche plaies Comodies maskes and inventions as ere prepared sett furth and presented before her maiestie at the tymes aforesaid. ...
An Inuention of three playes in one prepared to haue ben shewed before her highnes on Shroue sondaye at night and to haue ben enacted by her maiesties servauntes at Somerset place. But the Quene came not abroad that night. yet was ymployed on the same one howse & a battlement.
The Queen's players, formed in March 1583, began immediately to dominate the performance calendar at court in terms of adult companies. In 1583-4 they gave four performances (plays unnamed); in 1584-5 they gave five. The accounts of the Revels Office, unusually detailed in 1584-5, indicate not only the titles of the plays given through that holiday season but also the date and venue of performance. The Queen's players had Three Plays in One ready for the festivities at Somerset House on Shrove Sunday (21 February), 1585, but the performance was cancelled due to the queen's decision not to make a public appearance.
Moral (Harbage) NB: In making this assignment of genre, Harbage was assuming that Three Plays in One was The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins by Richard Tarlton. For the network of arguments on such an identification, see Critical Commentary, below.
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