Article

Touring

Peter Greenfield

in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697861
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199697861.013.0018

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Touring

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Long before they had the Theatre, the Rose, or the Globe in London, playing companies had toured the country, following a centuries-old pattern established by travelling minstrels. Their itineraries took them to the farthest reaches of England (and occasionally beyond), where they performed in towns and great houses from Dover to Devon, and from Southampton to the Scottish border. William Shakespeare's company also journeyed into the provinces on a regular basis. In fact, many acting troupes resembled Lord Berkeley's Men, who had no permanent base (even in their patron's household) and functioned exclusively on the road. Research on performing outside London suggests that touring was a regular, expected practice of even the most successful companies. At a more pragmatic level, the purposes of touring were to make a living and serve patrons' interests, both of which required travel. This article discusses the economics of touring, playing places on tour, the touring repertory, touring itineraries, and touring under the Stuarts.

Keywords: England; touring; playing companies; itineraries; William Shakespeare; patrons; travel; economics; repertory; Stuarts

Article.  7438 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights)

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