The Staging the Henrician Court
Project was supported by

arts and humanities research council

oxford Brookes university

edinburgh university

Staging the Henrician Court was a research project which had at its heart a production of John Heywood’s The Play of the Weather staged in the Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace in 2009. On this website you will find a film of The Play of the Weather, a series of introductions to key research topics, primary sources that illuminate Heywood’s work and a resources section that includes a range of materials generated as part of the project – including films of interviews with key members of the project, the artistic team and the cast.  

The Play of the Weather is an exemplary piece of early Tudor court drama. It presents itself to the audience as a simple piece of fun – a ridiculous debate over which is the best weather performed in front of the all powerful, yet benign ruler, Jupiter. But The Play of the Weather is also a politically engaged piece of drama whose arguments are at times potentially radical and dangerous. What are the implications of Jupiter choosing as his servant someone as apparently untrustworthy as Merry Report? Who is the old 'leaky' moon that Jupiter is in the process of replacing with a new tighter moon? Why is being servant to a God depicted as so unrewarding?

Also featured on this website is a documentary about another Tudor court drama John Skelton's Magnyfycence, also staged in 2010 at Hampton Court Palace (more details...).


Ed Woodall as the water miller

Watch a 2009 production of John Heywood's The Play of the Weather performed in the Great Hall of Hampton Court Palace.

The Great Hall at Hampton Court

Introducing key areas of theatrical and historical interest for the study of The Play of Weather.

henry VIII

Excerpts from related historical texts featured in order to illuminate the ten scenes of The Play of the Weather.

forum tags from the staging the henrician court project virtual research environment

A wide range of resources relating to the research project, including a large number of videos of interviews, workshops and symposium papers.