Scriveners and notaries: All fools at the Blackfriars
Place of Publication
School of Arts and Humanities
GEORGE CHAPMAN’s delightful comedy, All Fools , is rare amongst early modern plays in that it was performed both by a company of adult actors, the Admiral’s Men, and by the boy players at Blackfriars.
Philip Henslowe’s Diary of the Rose Theatre’s business affairs shows that in 1596 and 1597, Chapman’s first two comedies for the Admiral’s Men, The Blind Beggar of Alexandria and An Humorous Day’s Mirth , were great commercial successes. 1 However, Henslowe’s practice of noting the title of each play with the daily takings, which he began in February of 1592, stopped on 5 November 1597. From then on, he recorded only weekly receipts, so we know in general how well the theatre was doing, but not what plays were performed. We have, however, something just as interesting, Henslowe’s record of payments made to the writers. It should be noted that Henslowe himself was not purchasing...