The Interlude

The so-called interludes – popular in the 15th and 16th centuries - were still to a large degree allegorical, but they were considerably shorter and more commonly performed by professional actors. This was made possible by their small casts. Further, these plays moved away from the religious or moralistic and towards comedy - farce particularly – and humour centred on social stereotypes. John Heywood was an exponent of the form (see A Play of Love and The Play of the Wether (both 1533)), and served under Henry VIII and Queen Mary. John Rastell, brother-in-law of Sir Thomas More, was also a writer of interludes, including Four Elements (c.1520). The most well known example of an interlude is the play-within-a-play during Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (c.1595) where various hopeless amateurs perform "Pyramus and Thisbe" for the entertainment of the principal characters.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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