William stepped into the street and was immediately swept along with the crowd and deposited in front of The Curtain, one of the many public theaters along the Thames. Someone thrust a crumpled handbill at him. He smoothed it out and read that Lord Oxford’s Men were to perform The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth at two o’clock that afternoon. People were already queuing up to see it. The leaflet boasted that the original play had been thoroughly enjoyed at Court for its audacious swordplay, satire and romance. For the cost of a penny, one could see the same spectacle that had so delighted the Queen. William was sorely tempted, having never seen anything like it in his bucolic country town.
Only yesterday, when they arrived in London, his father had railed that the playhouses were havens for whores and pickpockets.
“Actors are the minions of Satan,” John Shaxper said. “A man’s worst inclinations are aroused every time some beardless boy acts like a woman in a love scene.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish