The Caroline Amphitheatre Companies: The King and Queen of Bohemia’s Men, 1626–1631, Prince Charles’s (II) Men, 1631–1642 and the Red Bull Company, 1626–1642
For all the increasing distinction that playgoers made in Caroline years between the hall-playhouse companies and the amphitheatre companies, grouping them separately by the kind of playhouse they performed in can be misleading. Aside from the King’s Men straddling the two kinds of venue, the fact that one of the ‘citizen’ companies switched places with a hall company without any visible sign of discomfort either for their repertory, their acting style, or their playgoers suggests that company loyalty was never as fixed as audience loyalty. The court put its thumb into some of the hall-playhouse activities, but below that level of rich plums the general run of audiences proved more loyal to the playhouses than to individual playing companies and their repertories. This chapter looks at the history of the Caroline amphitheatre companies: the King and Queen of Bohemia’s Men, Prince Charles’s (II) Men, and the Red Bull Company. It focuses on their performances, the plays they performed, the playhouses where they performed, and their travelling records.
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