chapter  2
28 Pages

. Performances

Although, as we have seen, foreign tourists numbered the playhouses among the glories of London, the City authorities engaged in almost constant skirmishes through the last decades of the sixteenth century to have them suppressed and plucked down. The players lost the final battle in 1642 when the playhouses were finally closed, but this was merely the final coup in a war that for decades had cast official disrepute on the very men who were building the most enduring cultural monuments of the age. The reasons for this conflict are complex, involve both questions of religious doctrine and considerations of law and order, and reflect wider tussles between rival centres of power in the Church, the City, and the Court.!