To think, my lord, if you delight not in man, what lenten entertainment the players shall receive from you.

I’d like to understand the logistics of the Players’ lives. This is probably due to the fact that I find my own Players’ life a bit unsatisfactory and I tend to romanticize the past, to see the world of traveling bands of actors as romantic and full of delights. However, this line makes me think that a player’s life hundreds of years ago was as full of uncertainty as a player’s now.

It would seem that these players don’t have a contract to perform anywhere. They just turn up at places and offer up their services. How they are received, where they sleep, what they are fed would seem to be up to the patrons they throw themselves on the mercy of.

This Lenten entertainment would suggest a stripped down Spartan’s welcome. Maybe shelter. Maybe some crusts of bread. Maybe a barn to perform in. Every journey the Players make, a proposition, a risk, a venture. No guarantee. And lets say some Prince doesn’t reward them adequately for services rendered, you can’t really complain, those sorts of people TEND to have the authority to chop off heads.

Romantic to travel the land, performing players, making theatre wherever one can find a space. But probably very smelly. Very dusty. Very uncertain. Very hungry at times. Probably it’s better now. Even if you do have to keep your day job.


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