Sunday, March 11, 2012

Salisbury Court Theatre


Monday 11 March 1660/61

At the office all the morning, dined at home and my father and Dr. Thos. Pepys with him upon a poor dinner, my wife being abroad. After dinner I went to the theatre, and there saw “Love’s Mistress” done by them, which I do not like in some things as well as their acting in Salsbury Court. At night home and found my wife come home, and among other things she hath got her teeth new done by La Roche, and are indeed now pretty handsome, and I was much pleased with it. So to bed.

The Salisbury Court Theatre, which Samuel Pepys records (in his diary) visiting in 1661, was originally built in 1629.  It was destroyed by soldiers in 1649, but restored once Charles II himself was restored to the throne in England.  Salisbury Court Theatre was repaired by William Beeston beginning in 1660, and visited by Pepys soon after being repoened.

One playwright whose works were presented at Salisbury Court was Shackerley Marmion.  Marmion’s “Holland’s Leaguer” was a comedy that ran for 6 days in 1631 (at a time when most plays lasted 1 day).  The Marmion name, of course, is very familiar to Scott fans.  In the prefatory comments (by James Maidment and W. H. Logan) to “The Dramatic Works of Shackerley Marmion” the following quote of Sir Walter Scott is reported: ‘Sir Walter Scott, in a note to his poem of Marmion, thus remarks as to the name: - “I have not created a new family, but only revived the titles of an old one in an imaginary personage” …’

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