Sunday, March 02, 2008


Companies of boys at Shakespeare 's Globe

2 March 2008

As part of the Young Shakespeare season, two amateur companies of boys presented scenes from plays, written for boys, by Shakespeare's contemporaries.

Dulwich College gave us the start of Marston's Antonio and Mellida, with a large cast, directed by Matthew Edwards. Lively and full of variety.

King Edward's, Stratford, the Bard's old school, brought the notorious Dutch Courtesan, also by Marston. An amazingly assured performance, notably by Harry Davies as the courtesan.

As Michael Wood, one of several celebrities in the audience, pointed out, the Stratford company was not a children's troupe as it is normally understood. There is some debate amongst scholars about the age of the boys, but even if they were well into their teens, they would not, I think, be the strapping lads we saw here.

Nonetheless, this was a unique opportunity to see, in the intimate Bear Gardens auditorium, the modern successors of Shakespeare's "little eyasses".

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