and gentlemen quote his jests down in their tables before they come to the play;

I love this image. Gentlemen write down the jokes in their notebooks?! And not AFTER the play, no, no, before. They want to be READY for the jokes. I don’t quite understand that impulse. I feel like knowing the jokes ahead of time can kill them a bit. But, I suppose, it’s like a catch phrase – you like to anticipate its arrival – the way I used to wait for Jon Lovitz’s Master Thespian to shout “Acting!

Writing them down, though. Why?
Just in case you forget what you’re hoping to see?
So you can shout out requests like at a rock concert?
This line conjures a whole world of the culture of theatre going that feels just out of reach and so so interesting.

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