A moment of theatrical history comes to Oxford

On 12th March, audiences in Oxford have a rare opportunity to witness a drama being performed for the first time since the days of Charles I. The Lady’s Trial was the last play written by John Ford, best known as the author of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. Ford was one of a group of playwrights – loose contemporaries of Shakespeare including Thomas Middleton, John Lyly and Christopher Marlowe – who produced works especially for the all-boys’ theatre companies which were popular in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The most recent known performance was at the Phoenix (Cockpit)
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Three weeks to go…

Intensive rehearsals are now taking place for Edward’s Boys’ forthcoming production of John Ford’s The Lady’s Trial, which opens on 12th March. BOOK NOW Ford is experiencing a re-evaluation currently with both the RSC and Shakespeare’s Globe staging three of his plays during 2015. Performed at the Phoenix (Cockpit) Theatre Drury Lane in 1638 by the last of the boys’ companies, ‘Beeston’s Boys’, The Lady’s Trial  was Ford’s final play, and has not been performed since. However, the script of this tragi-comedy suggests that this is a fascinating piece of work which in some ways looks forward to topics which we usually
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Performing Dido film

Edward’s Boys feature in a new film by Maria Sachiko Cecire, now available to view online at the Early Drama at Oxford website. Performing Dido features two all-male productions of the Dido and Aeneas story performed in the hall of Christ Church, Oxford in 2013. Adult actors bring the Elizabethan undertones of Christ Church student William Gager’s Latin Dido (1583) to life with passionate scenes, sumptuous costumes, and original music under the direction of Prof. Elisabeth Dutton. Edward’s Boys, the boys’ acting troupe from Shakespeare’s King Edward VI school in Stratford-upon-Avon, follows this staging with an energetic interpretation of Christopher Marlowe’s Dido,
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The Lady’s Trial – Tickets Now Available

Edward’s Boys are pleased to announce that our 2015 production will be John Ford’s The Lady’s Trial, in collaboration with Globe Education. Performed at the Phoenix (Cockpit) Theatre Drury Lane in 1638 by the last of the boys’ companies, ‘Beeston’s Boys’, The Lady’s Trial was Ford’s last play. There is some evidence to suggest that it enjoyed some brief popularity immediately after the Restoration, but it appears never to have been staged since. Why? That is one of the questions we will seek to answer with this production. ‘Why was it performed by a boys’ company?’ is another. The script of
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Announcing our 2015 production…

Edward’s Boys are pleased to announce that our 2015 production will be John Ford’s The Lady’s Trial, in collaboration with Globe Education. Performed at the Phoenix (Cockpit) Theatre Drury Lane in 1638 by the last of the boys’ companies, ‘Beeston’s Boys’, The Lady’s Trial was Ford’s last play. There is some evidence to suggest that it enjoyed some brief popularity immediately after the Restoration, but it appears never to have been staged since. Why? That is one of the questions we will seek to answer with this production. ‘Why was it performed by a boys’ company?’ is another. The script
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Little Eyases: Early Modern Plays and Boy Players: 1525-1642

On Thursday 13th November Perry Mills took part in a three-way symposium (Perth, Western Australia; Newcastle, UK; Stratford-upon-Avon) discussing the early modern boys companies and the work of Edward’s Boys as part of an academic conference. In recent weeks academics from Tokyo, Jerusalem, Massachusetts, Los Angeles, Oxford and Exeter have been in touch with requests and invitations. The word seems to be spreading… LINK: Little Eyases: Early Modern Plays and Boy Players: 1525-1642 (The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions)
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A celebration of the life and work of David Biddle

On Friday 26th September King Edward VI School hosted a celebration of the life and work of David Biddle, who died in July, aged 76, after battling a brain tumour. David was a much loved member of staff at K.E.S. between 1992 and 2014, having also been a student here between 1949 and 1957. Both current and former members of Edward’s Boys gathered at the celebration (above). David was both a great supporter of the company and one of its stars, performing with distinction the role of Chorus in our centenary production of Henry V in Big School in 2013.   LINK:
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“A bravely honest staging of a forgotten but exciting text”

Dr Andy Kesson of the University of Roehampton has reviewed Edward’s Boys’ 2014 production of Galatea for The Stratfordian magazine. In his review, Dr Kesson praises the cast’s handling of the challenge language of John Lyly’s text: “The boys handled Lyly’s language – so often described as fussy and complicated by scholars – with ease and panache. This is the first time I have seen Lyly performed by actors who are not distracted by their characters’ tendency for wordplay. Professional actors, trained to treat everything as naturalistic, are often deeply embarrassed when their characters start to pun, and often seem
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Edward’s Boys perform for HRH The Prince of Wales

During his visit to Stratford-upon-Avon on 2nd June, HRH The Prince of Wales visited King Edward VI School to mark the re-opening of the historic Guild Chapel and the completion of work on the new organ there. Whilst at the school, The Prince was treated to a special performance of a scene from Edward’s Boys’ recent production of Galatea, introduced by Perry Mills, after which he met members of the cast. Click on a thumbnail to view the slideshow…
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