Dramatic Networks: Marginalized Economics and Labour in The Norwich Grocers’ Play
Using actor-network theory, this essay argues that the Norwich Grocers’ Play creates a dramatic network among the city of Norwich, the actors of the play, and the marginal audience members from Norwich and its surrounding countryside when read in light of the Norwich Corporation assembly minute of 1527 and the history of social unrest culminating in Kett’s Rebellion of 1549. The staging, costuming, and language of the play all function to ally the audience with the salvation history presented in the play and, in so doing, ensure the continued peace and prosperity of Norwich in the later 1560s despite challenges that could have led to unrest mirroring that experienced in the 1540s.
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