Who Performed at Newington Butts in May 1586?


  • Laurie Johnson University of Southern Queensland




While recent studies offer new information about companies that used the Playhouse at Newington Butts from 1575 to 1594, mystery remains about the identity of the company that performed there in contravention of a restraint in May 1586. Using evidence related to the movements of companies active in 1586, particularly from the Records of Early English Drama (reed), this article offers an answer based on a process of elimination. After ruling out other options, the article explains why a fragment of Leicester’s Men likely performed at Newington for a short time before joining the earl on his diplomatic campaign in Europe.

Author Biography

Laurie Johnson, University of Southern Queensland

Laurie Johnson (laurence.johnson@usq.edu.au) is professor of English and cultural studies at the University of Southern Queensland. He is the author of Shakespeare’s Lost Playhouse: Eleven Days at Newington Butts (2018), The Tain of Hamlet (2013), and The Wolf Man’s Burden (2000), and editor of Embodied Cognition and Shakespeare’s Theatre: The Early Modern Body-Mind (with John Sutton and Evelyn Tribble, 2014) and Rapt in Secret Studies: Emerging Shakespeares (with Darryl Chalk, 2010). He is currently researching the impact of weather on the business of early modern playing, for which he has been awarded a Folger Short-term Fellowship in 2019.







Most read articles by the same author(s)