“More like performance arse.” – S. Pepys

Samuel Pepys, 17th Century Theater Critic
Friday October 23, 1668:
“…This day Pierce do tell me, among other news, the late frolick and debauchery of Sir Charles Sidly* and Buckhurst, running up and down all the night with their arses bare, through the streets; and at last fighting, and being beat by the watch and clapped up all night; and how the King takes their parts; and my Lord Chief Justice Keeling hath laid the constable by the heels to answer it next Sessions: which is a horrid shame. How the King and these gentlemen did make the fiddlers of Thetford, this last progress, to sing them all the bawdy songs they could think of.…”

via The Diary of Samuel Pepys

* Sir Charles Sidley (or Sedley) was a 17th century playwright, poet, and performance artist, whose notoriously bawdy behavior was the inspiration for the first obscenity law. In one public performance, after stripping naked on the balcony of a tavern, he dipped his penis in a glass of wine from which he then drank the King’s health. A riot ensued.


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