droll

Definition

Theater

  • A type of brief comic sketch that developed in England duringthe Puritan Interregnum. Since plays were too long and elaborateto perform in secret, excerpts from well-known works, called drollhumours or drolleries, were presented, usually followedby a dance.

    Robert Cox (d. 1655) was the most famous exponent of drolls,adding juggling, conjuring, and rope-dancing to the performance. Coxappeared in London and at country fairs before being arrested andimprisoned in 1653 for presenting a droll at the Red Bull Theatrein Clerkenwell.

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