The Shoemaker's Holidayby Thomas Dekker
Thomas Dekker's The Shoemaker's Holiday is one of the most popular of Elizabethan plays, entertaining, racy and vivid in its characterisation. Revealing a vital portrait of Elizabethan London and the interaction of social classes within the city, its social commentary is on the whole optimistic, though darker tones are discernible. The play has had a lively history of performance on both the professional and amateur stage; the roles of Simon and Madgy Eyre in particular have proved worthy vehicles for the talents of such performers as Sir Donald Wolfit and Dame Edith Evans, and a notable production was directed by Orson Welles.
The editors offer a study of the text; a historical and critical introduction, which includes a study of the play's relationship with contemporary life and drama and of its place in Dekker's work; a stage history; a detailed commentary and a reprint of source materials.
Meet the Author
R. L. Smallwood is Director of Courses at the Shakespeare Institute of the University of Birmingham
Stanley Wells is General Editor of the Oxford Shakespeare
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