PLAYHOUSE TALES by C. Walter Hodges

PLAYHOUSE TALES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Hodges' six stories, set in Shakespeare's London and based on ""real events and real people"" -- and, most important, real places -- range as the author notes from a mere rewording of Will Kemp's account of his own nine-day dance from London to Norwich to ""Romeo and Margaret,"" ""based upon little but fancy,"" in which a pious clergyman falls for a mysterious lady who is really a boy actor dressed for audition. The bard himself makes a few cameo appearances and Ben Jonson figures centrally in two of the stories -- in one, his stepfather fires him from his bricklayer's apprenticeship when he leaves his duties to attend a play, and in another he's in prison, having been a party to ""that dangerous rascally play at the Swan playhouse, The Isle of Dogs."" There is also a long account of the brawls and lawsuits and ""riotous circumstances which led up to the building of the Globe theater."" Laced with ""Tush tush's"" and ""how now's,"" the tales are literate and of course historically valid, but the incidents would be of little interest without their glamorous associations, and even as is the gusto is of a genteel and censored variety.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1975
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Coward, McCann Geoghegan