Frank/Nun/Ralph ... Amanda Noel Allen Raymond/Benedic ... Jeffrey Chips Coreb/Sir Arthur ... Brian Falbo Fabell/Hildersham ... Sara Grace Landis Host/Chamberlain ... Kimberly Maurice Harry/Banks ... Rachel Quagliariello Sir Richard/Sir John/
Prioress/Brian ... Paul Rycik Prologue/Milliscent ... Melissa Tolner Dorcas/Smug/Bilbo ... Victoria Rose Townsend Sir Ralph/Sexton ... Daniel Trombley
Director .... Tony Tambasco
Associate Producer .... Meghann Strain
Musical Director .... Rachel Quagliariello
Prompter .... Jessica Malicki
From the title pages of the six printed quartos of The Merry Devil of
Edmonton, we know it was performed at Shakespeare's Globe, and from
records of the royal court, we know it was performed for the marriage of
Princess Elizabeth. Thomas Middleton referred to Merry Devil
Book, and Ben Jonson called it "your deere delight" in
the prologue to The Devil
is an Ass, from which we can assume that Merry Devil
was popular enough
that these authors thought their audiences would recognize the name. By the
standard of early 1600s London, The Merry Devil of Edmonton
seems to have
been an extremely popular play in the repertory of Shakespeare's company,
The King's Men. Despite this, the play is shrouded in mystery.
No one knows who wrote The Merry Devil of Edmonton.
of the time were sometimes collaborative in nature,
and the surviving texts of
bear some of the stamps of multiple authors contributing to the
work. Merry Devil
is short by early-modern standards; at about 1100 lines, it
is some 600 lines shorter than The Comedy of Errors,
comedy. The bibliographic scholar W. W. Greg said of
Merry Devil: "if a
rough author's draft... had been severely cut with a view to preparing an
abridged version of the play... the resulting edition might have been
something like what we find in the extant text."
From the anonymous prose book
The Life and Death of the Merry Devil of Edmonton,
which tells a similar story as Merry Devil with some parts
in greater detail, we can surmise that many of the
scenes left out of the play called for the use of
a balcony, which may suggest
the quarto printings were derived from a copy of the text cut for an
environment that might not have such a facility, such as a tour or court
performance. Still, this is little more than guess work.
For everything we don't know about Merry Devil,
it is still a familiar work.
We know these lovers, these parents, and these clowns. Even though Bad
Quarto's production may be the first in almost three centuries,
it is instantly
recognizable as a cousin of The Merry Wives of Windsor,
A Night at the
Opera, and The Forty Year Old Virgin.