chapter  2
13 Pages

Player

The year 1592 for instance saw the refurbishment of the Rose Theatre. Originally built in 1587 it was thoroughly overhauled to receive the Lord Strange's Company of players under the management of Philip Henslowe, who with the famous Edward Alleyn as their chief actor had every expectation of success. The setbacks which the central and civic bodies inflicted upon the theatre companies seem to have been received as occupational hazards, and they became easier to avoid or to tolerate as the players established themselves. At best the players could hope only to be treated like upper servants. All this could not have weighed too heavily on the impecunious youngster of the 1590s – it was, after all, a major advance on bricklaying. The connection with the Chapel Children marked the change in Jonson's career from player to playwright. The company was popular and fashionable and their very success bred a demand for new plays.