|Subject:||Provisions for the Leicester pageants|
|Original source:||Leicestershire Record Office, Leicester archives, Hall Book|
|Transcription in:||Mary Bateson, ed. Records of the Borough of Leicester, (London, 1901), vol 2, 297.|
|Original language:||Middle English|
At a town council meeting held at Leicester on 26 March 1477 the actors who had performed the Passion play the previous year presented a petition regarding payment of debts and concerning whether the passion [play] should be made the responsibility of the craft gilds or not. At that time the actors turned over to the pageants the money they had received for performing the play in the past, and all the costumes and other items they had at the time. And at the same meeting, by the advice of the community, there were chosen the persons hereafter named to organize and direct [the performance of] the play.
The Passion play in some places (e.g. York) was part of the Corpus Christi cycle of plays although they more commonly dealt primarily with Old Testament events and in others was presented at Easter. It focused on the events surrounding the death of Christ, although in its fullest representation might encompass events from throughout his life. Emerging out of liturgical dramatic representation, it is known as a play in its own right from as early as the beginning of the thirteenth century (in Italy). In England, the Passion play was second in popularity only to the Corpus Christi play.
A list of 19 townsmen and two beadles were named to take charge of the next performance. Here as at other towns, the borough authorities felt a vested interest in the performance of the pageants and did not wish to leave the matter entirely to the craft gilds.
|Created: August 18, 2001. Last update: April 17, 2004||© Stephen Alsford, 2001-2004|