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date: 26 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the players' relationship with the Master of the Revels and the court and suggests that the call to perform at court was always of more professional significance than traditional accounts of early modern theatre in England have allowed. That being the case, the court was always a distinctive arbiter of theatrical taste and practice, long before it became an unavoidable fact of life in the Caroline period. It helped to set the theatrical agenda and did not merely consume what happened to be available. And the key negotiating figures in all of this were the Masters of the Revels — specifically Edmund Tilney, who served from 1578 to 1610; Sir George Buc, 1610 to 1622; and Sir Henry Herbert, 1623 to the closing of the theatres and into the Restoration.

Keywords: Master of the Revels, court, players, theatre, Edmund Tilney, George Buc, Henry Herbert, England, Caroline period

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