Knight Burning Pestle

by Francis Beaumont

Book review

The interrupting Citizens of Beaumont's play make for a rare romp in dramatic literacy, and their insistence on an apprentice as the Knight of the Burning Pestle is an odd choice. Yet the satire of popular children theatre companies (Hamlet's often cited "little eyases") and the striving merchants who are bettered by their apprentices signals a shift in popular entertainment. Even the romances popular at the end of Shakespeare's career seem to be a bit dated here. Wow I never heard of this play before, it is no surprise that it is now being performed on the Globe's Sam Wanamaker stage until March 30th! While I wish I could be instantly there to see it, I had a good sense from reading this play of how it might play out with a modern audience. Nell would be a yoga pants-wearing, new-age dieter (for all her medicinal advice for other actors) who has a bloodlust for TV wrestlers or hockey fights: "kill, kill, kill, kill, kill". Her husband, the Grocer, on the other hand would be wearing a Bluetooth on stage, insistently micromanaging the child actors on stage while taking calls from head office. What to make of the continually warbling dead-beat dad Merrythought, whether he belongs to the made-up world of the London Merchant or is a closer kin to our own, would be up for the director to decide. Anyone going to the Sam please let me know!

PublisherManchester University Press
Release date 01.05.1988
Pages count190
File size2.4 Mb
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
Book rating3.52 (349 votes)

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