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A Jovial Crew or The Merry Beggars

Large Mixed Cast

Richard Brome edited Tiffany Stern Price: $19.99

A Jovial Crew, or the Merry Beggars is a 17C comedy about four noble lovers who join the beggar community for a pastoral life of dance and song

Or is it?

Whilst maintaining its unremitting good humour, A Jovial Crew shows that the literary depiction of beggar life and real beggar life are profoundly different

Daily aspects of life in the beggar world – poverty, dirt, licentiousness – come as a surprise to the well-born, who are ultimately led to question their own values

The last production was mounted just before theatres were closed for the English Civil War and A Jovial Crew’s exploration of class, commonwealth, kinship and kingship shows and reflects an intense engagement with contemporary politics

This edition includes extensive dedicated sections on the music and language in the play and argues that the play also offers a nostalgic farewell to English theatre

The edition also explores Richard Brome’s (c.1590-1653) attitude to performance and print, and follows A Jovial Crew from its first Caroline staging to its later manifestations as a Restoration comedy, an eighteenth-century opera, and a twentieth-century proto-Marxist tragicomedy

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