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Read Not Dead

Performances with scripts of rarely performed plays:

The Injur'd Princess
Sunday 22 November 

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Shakespeare's Globe


Thursday 28 May






£5 FoSG/Students



Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe



+44 (0)20 7401 9919 

Ticket Office

In Person:
Monday - Saturday
10.00am - 5.00pm

10.00am - 4.00pm


Please note, late comers may not be admitted.

  • Education/RND Voting

Read Not Dead
Back By Popular Demand: Voting Event

Over 200 plays written between 1567 and 1642 have been staged in the Read Not Dead series since the reading of Amends for Ladies launched the project in 1995.

One of those plays will be revived as the final staged reading in our second season in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. You will have a chance to decide which one.

Four directors will team up with four scholars and present their arguments for reviving one of four plays. Actors will stage a selection of chosen scenes and vie for your vote.

The winning play will then be performed as our final Read Not Dead of the season.

Who will win your vote?


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Team Beggar

The Court Beggar by Richard Brome 
Academic: Dr. Sarah Dustagheer (University of Kent) 
Director: Jo Howarth 

Sir Andrew Mendicant wants to marry off his daughter Charissa, and wealthy Sir Ferdinando seems an ideal groom. But Charissa is in love with Frederick, a young man of ‘valour, wit and honour’. Sir Ferdinando is enamoured of Lady Strangelove whose blank refusal nearly drives him into madness. Who will win out? The Court Beggar, performed at the Cockpit without a license in 1640, landed Christopher Beeston in jail due to its satiric allusions to Charles I’s disastrous military campaign against the Scots. 

Team Moor

The English Moor, or the Mock Marriage by Richard Brome 
Academic: Dr. PA Skantze (University of Roehampton) 
Director: Robert Heard 

First performed at the Salisbury Court in 1637, Brome’s play is a fast-moving comedy rich in spectacle and song. Quirkily aware of its own theatricality, the play interweaves storylines from city comedy and from romance, focussing on three pairs of siblings and three couples who face obstacles and conflicts in contemporary London. The unusual title comes from a unique moment of on-stage theatrical disguise, when Quicksands, who is keen to protect himself from being cuckolded, adopts the persona of an ‘English Moor’.   

Team Tricks

Tricks of Youth, or The Walks of Islington and Hogsden with the Humours of Wood Street Counter by Thomas Jordan
Academic: Dr. Simon Smith (The Queen's College, University of Oxford) 
Director: Nicola Pollard  

The sub-title locates this 1641 play firmly in the knockabout world of city comedy. In Tricks of Youth, four gallants tumble through Islington, Hoxton and the City. One is in love with a married woman and another has entangled himself with a kitchen maid. Their reckless actions result in a chase across town and the threat of imprisonment in the Wood Street Counter – one of London’s most notorious jails. Meanwhile, the play’s romantic centre focusses on two lovers who struggle to make a life together in a society obsessed by wealth and status. Wildly popular in its time, it was said to run for 19 days at the Red Bull in Clerkenwell.

Team Picture 

The Picture by Philip Massinger 
Academic: Dr. Lucy Munro (King's College,London) 
Director: Vivien Heilbron 

Written in 1629, The Picture examines jealousy, vanity and the sexual double-standard set in the exotic realms of Bohemia and Hungary. The play depicts the turbulent marriages of King Ladislaus and his queen Honoria, and the knight Mathias and his wife Sophia. Sent abroad to serve in the Hungarian army, Mathias worries that his wife will be tempted to sexual indiscretion. He commissions a magic painting of Sophia, one that will change colour if she cuckolds him. But after his victory, Mathias finds that it is he who is assailed by sexual importunity from an unexpected quarter… 


Book Online

Back by Popular Demand