“Dueling Shepherdesses!” – S. Pepys

Portrait of Thomas Shadwell, artist unknown

Samuel Pepys, 17th Century Theater Critic
The Royal Shepherdess – Thomas Shadwell – ★☆☆☆☆
The Faithful Shepherdess – John Fletcher – ★★★☆☆

Thursday February 25, 1669:

“…to the Duke of York’s house, and there before one, but the house infinite full, where, by and by, the King and Court come, it being a new play, or an old one new vamped, by Shadwell, called “The Royall Shepherdesse;” but the silliest for words and design, and everything, that ever I saw in my whole life, there being nothing in the world pleasing in it, but a good martial dance of pikemen, where Harris and another do handle their pikes in a dance to admiration; but never less satisfied with a play in my life.”

via The Diary of Samuel Pepys

Friday February 26, 1669:

“I went with my wife and girls to the King’s playhouse, to shew them that, and there saw “The Faithfull Shepherdesse.” But, Lord! what an empty house, there not being, as I could tell the people, so many as to make up above 10l. in the whole house! The being of a new play at the other house, I suppose, being the cause, though it be so silly a play that I wonder how there should be enough people to go thither two days together, and not leave more to fill this house. The emptiness of the house took away our pleasure a great deal, though I liked it the better; for that I plainly discern the musick is the better, by how much the house the emptier.”

via The Diary of Samuel Pepys

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