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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Long before they had the Theatre, the Rose, or the Globe in London, playing companies had toured the country, following a centuries-old pattern established by travelling minstrels. Their itineraries took them to the farthest reaches of England (and occasionally beyond), where they performed in towns and great houses from Dover to Devon, and from Southampton to the Scottish border. William Shakespeare's company also journeyed into the provinces on a regular basis. In fact, many acting troupes resembled Lord Berkeley's Men, who had no permanent base (even in their patron's household) and functioned exclusively on the road. Research on performing outside London suggests that touring was a regular, expected practice of even the most successful companies. At a more pragmatic level, the purposes of touring were to make a living and serve patrons' interests, both of which required travel. This article discusses the economics of touring, playing places on tour, the touring repertory, touring itineraries, and touring under the Stuarts.

Keywords: England, touring, playing companies, itineraries, William Shakespeare, patrons, travel, economics, repertory, Stuarts

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