Staging the Henrician Court produced John Heywood’s The Play of the Weather in August 2009 in the Great Hall of Hampton Court Palace to explore the use of courtly space in the early Tudor drama. The full-length production has been divided into ten key sections. Each section links to an associated Key Research Topic as well as an Historical Context Document.

Scene 1 : Opening


View Scene 1

 Key Research Topic   Jupiter

 Historical Context   The Assemble of goddes


Scene 2 : Appointment of Merry Report

Merry Report courtesy

View Scene 2

 Key Research Topic   The Vice and The Fool

 Historical Context   Lists of Places in Early Modern Drama


Scene 3 : The Gentleman

The Gentleman

View Scene 3

 Key Research Topic   The Great Hall at Hampton Court Palace

 Historical Context   Sir Thomas Elyot on the Education of Aristocratic Children

Scene 4 : The Merchant

The Merchant

View Scene 4

 Key Research Topic   Merchants

 Historical Context   Description of a Merchant from the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales

Scene 5 : The Ranger

The Ranger

View Scene 5

 Key Research Topic   The Ranger and Court Servants

 Historical Context 1   Account of May Day revels, 1515

 Historical Context 2   Extract on Candles from The Eltham Ordinances

Scene 6 : The Millers

The Millers

View Scene 6

 Key Research Topic   Audience

 Historical Context 1   The Miller from the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales

 Historical Context 2   Widow Edith

Scene 7 : The Gentlewoman and The Laundress

The Gentlewoman and The Laundress

View Scene 7

 Key Research Topic   Gender Performance and the Court

 Historical Context 1   The Tunning of Elinor Rumming

 Historical Context 2   Guystarde and Sygysmonde on Idleness

Scene 8 : The Boy

The Boy

View Scene 8

 Key Research Topic   Humanism, Education and Political Debate in Henry VIII’s England

 Historical Context   Instructions for 'Porters at the Gate'

Scene 9 : Merry Report Reports

Merry Report

View Scene 9

 Key Research Topic   Merry Report and the Tudor Politics of Counsel

 Historical Context    The Amicable Grant, 1525

Scene 10 : Closing


View Scene 10

 Key Research Topic   Political History of 1532 / 33

 Historical Context 1   Greenwich Revels - Spinelli's Account

 Historical Context 2   Account of the entertainment for the French Ambassadors, 1518


The Staging the Henrician Court
Project was supported by

arts and humanities research council

oxford Brookes university

edinburgh university