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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: March 2008

6 - Drama outside London after 1540

The dominant trend outside London from 1540 to 1642 was the disappearance of late medieval traditions of dramatic activity without the creation of new forms to replace them, so that by the time parliament prohibited public performing in 1642, very little remained. Economic distress in both provincial towns and rural areas contributed to the decline in dramatic activity outside the capital, but the Reformation had the greatest impact. Economic distress in both provincial towns and rural areas contributed to the decline in dramatic activity outside the capital, but the Reformation had the greatest impact. In addition to locally produced dramatic activity, the provinces also enjoyed the visits of travelling players, some of them based in London, others with entirely provincial itineraries. The main road used to move goods from Southampton's port to London passed a few miles east of Winchester, and the connecting road was hilly and poorly maintained.
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The Cambridge History of British Theatre
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