chapter  11
The communities of George Chapman’s All Fools
ByTOM RUTTER
Pages 21

I Introduction While the plays of Shakespeare, as Ann Thompson and John O. Thompson observe in the chapter preceding this one, seem to retain a ‘universal appeal’ that transcends the academy, George Chapman’s work appears confined to something of a niche market. If performance history, at least, is anything to go by, then Chapman has yet to achieve the level of recognition accorded by non-specialists to Jonson, Webster, or Middleton. With very few exceptions, such as Jonathan Miller’s production of Bussy D’Ambois at the London Old Vic in 1987-88, his solo-authored plays do not tend to attract professional production (although Eastward Ho, cowritten with Ben Jonson and John Marston, was staged by Lucy Pitman-Wallace for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2002). Charles Edelman is forced to admit in his 2010 edition that ‘An Humorous Day’s Mirth has no stage history’, while Shona McIntosh’s survey, ‘Recent Studies in George Chapman (1975-2009)’, does not make reference to any work on the plays in performance.1