William Kempe

William Kempe
  • Interesting Facts and information about William Kempe in Elizabethan Times
  • Short Biography about the life of William Kempe - the famous Elizabethan actor
  • Facts and History about the life and times of William Kempe
William Kempe

Interesting information about the life and times of William Kempe and the
Globe Theatre of Elizabethan London, England

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 Admiralís Men
  • 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

Documented facts 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."

William Kempe
Interesting Facts and information about the History, Life & Times of the famous Elizabethan actor, William Kempe. Additional details, facts and information about the Globe Theatre and other actors can be accessed via the Globe Theatre Sitemap.

Globe Theatre Actors

Globe Theatre Index

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

© 2018 Siteseen Ltd