The Shoemaker's Holiday

Definition

Theater

  • A boisterous comedy by Thomas Dekker, subtitled "A pleasantcomedie of the gentle craft". It was first performed in Londonin 1599 and proved the most popular of the author's works. Dekkerderived the story from The Gentle Craft by Thomas Deloney (1560 - 1600),which included the story of Simon Eyre, the 15th-century shoemaker'sapprentice who became Lord Mayor.

    The Shoemaker's Holiday was among the plays presentedon Broadway in 1938 by the Mercury Theatre company of Orson Wellesand John Houseman. Another notable revival was John Dexter's 1981production at the National Theatre, starring Alfred Lynch.

    In the play Rowland Lacy, a relation of the Earl of Lincoln,loves Rose, the daughter of the Lord Mayor of London. The Earl, intenton breaking up the match, sends Lacy off to France to command a company;Lacy, however, resigns and returns in the disguise of a Dutch cobbler.Finding employment with the eccentric Simon Eyre, a master shoemaker,who supplies the Lord Mayor's family, Lacy continues his pursuit ofRose. They are married, Lacy is pardoned by the king, and Eyre becomesLord Mayor.

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