Short Biography of
the life of William Kempe - Elizabethan actor
The following biography information
provides basic facts about the life William Kempe:
Nationality - English
Lifespan - William Kempe
(1560 - 1603)
William Kempe travelled
extensively during his early career with Leicester's Men visiting
Holland, Belgium, Germany and Demark
Acting Troupes: Member of
Leicester's Men, Lord Strange's Men, the Chamberlain's Men and the
Career - Actor, dancer and
singer. He specialised in comedies
Famous as : "The nine days'
wonder" when he Morris danced from London to Norwich. The journey was
between February 11 and March 11, 1600
He was named as one of the 26 actors who performed in the plays which were listed in William
Shakespeare's First Folio
William Kempe played in
the early plays of William Shakespeare playing the roles and
characters of Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, Peter in Romeo and
Juliet, Falstaff in Henry IV and Costard in Loveís Labourís Lost
The First Folio
was published in 1623 and contained approximately 900 pages
containing 36 of the plays by William Shakespeare. It was entitled
"Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories & Tragedies"
The reputation of the early
Elizabethan Actors was not good and any were viewed as no better than
rogues and vagabonds - actors were not trusted. The standing of actors
improved when the purpose-built theatres were introduced and some
Elizabethan actors became the equivalent of today's superstars.
William Kempe and
the Globe Theatre
Cuthbert and Richard
Burbage were able to raise half of the cost of the original Globe
Theatre. They needed more money and the idea of sharing the cost was put to the actors.
Five actors agreed to become stakeholders, including Will Kempe. Will
Kempe then decided to back out, leaving his fellow actors to pick up his
contribution to the new theatre. The Globe Theatre owners must have been
furious with Will Kempe. Kempe Morris danced his way from London to
Norwich and ended up acting at The Rose, one of the Globe's fiercest
competitors. The Rose Theatre was
used as a base for the theatrical productions of the Admiralís Men
Acting Troupe, lead by Edward Alleyn
about Will Kempe - Elizabethan actor, dancer and comedian
The following documented facts related to William Kempe and his life as
an Elizabethan actor together with details of his relationship with
fellow actors including William Shakespeare.
On 15 March 1595,the
Treasurer of the Queen's Chamber paid "William Kempe William Shakespeare
& Richarde Burbage servants to the Lord Chamberleyne" for performances
at court in Greenwich on 26 and 27 Dec of the previous year.
The The 1616 Folio of Ben
Jonson's Works contained cast lists for his plays. The cast list for
Jonson's Every Man in His Humor, which was performed in 1598, includes
"Will Shakespeare, Aug. Philips, Hen. Condel, Will. Slye, Will. Kempe,
Ric. Burbadge, Ioh. Hemings, Tho. Pope, Chr. Beeston, and Ioh. Duke."
Interesting Facts and information
about the History, Life & Times of the famous Elizabethan actor, William Kempe. Additional details, facts and information about the
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