Thomas Pope (died 1603) was an Elizabethan actor, a member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men and a colleague of William Shakespeare.Pope was a "comedian and acrobat."
Nothing is known of Pope's early life. He was one of the English players who toured Denmark and Saxony in 1586–87, along with George Bryan, another future Chamberlain's man. He was in the production of The Seven Deadly Sins c. 1591, which was performed by a combination of personnel from Lord Strange's Men and the Admiral's Men, and which starred Edward Alleyn and included Bryan, Richard Burbage, Augustine Phillips, Richard Cowley, and John Sinklo, all soon-to-be Lord Chamberlain's Men. Pope toured with Lord Strange's Men under Edward Alleyn in 1593, with most of the same personnel.
Pope was most likely an original member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men at their re-constitution in 1594, along with Shakespeare, Burbage, and the others. He was a figure of some significance in the early phase of the company's history, in that he and John Heminges were the payees for their Court performances — a responsibility that would have been given only to trusted members. Though no information has survived on his specific roles, it is thought that his physique and style most suited the comic character of stout, braggartly cowards, such as Falstaff and Sir Toby Belch, although he is also conjectured to have performed in dramatic roles, such as Mercutio and Shylock. He was also cast in the two Ben Jonson plays acted by the company in the late 1590s, Every Man in His Humour (1598) and Every Man Out of His Humour (1599). In 1599 he also became one of the original sharers in the new Globe Theatre. He was no longer part of the company when they became the King's Men in 1603; he might have been retired by then, and in fact died in that year. Like some other actors and members of his troupe (Shakespeare; Phillips), Pope lived in Southwark, near the theatres; he is thought to have remained unmarried.
Pope's last will and testament was dated 22 July 1603 (and probated on 13 February 1604). He left legacies to two other actors, one of whom was Robert Gough, an actor with the Lord Chamberlain's Men who continued with the King's Men after 1603. The other was a John Edmans, or Edmonds. Pope left Gough and Edmans "all my wearing apparel, and all my arms, to be equally divided between them." — she, presumably, being the former Mary Clark.Pope also left his share in the Globe, and a share in the Curtain Theatre, to a Mary Clark; in 1612 the Globe share was owned by a John and Mary Edmans
The fact that Pope owned a share in the Curtain Theatre, where the Lord Chamberlain's Men had acted in the 1597–99 era, is significant for an understanding of an important facet of the development of English Renaissance theatre. [For the importance of the Curtain shares, see: John Underwood.]
William Kempe, commonly referred to as Will Kemp, was an English actor and dancer specialising in comic roles and best known for having been one of the original players in early dramas by William Shakespeare. Roles associated with his name may include the great comic creation, Falstaff, and his contemporaries considered him the successor to the great clown of the previous generation, Richard Tarlton.
Richard Burbage was an English stage actor, widely considered to have been one of the most famous actors of the Globe Theatre and of his time. In addition to being a stage actor, he was also a theatre owner, entrepreneur, and painter. He was the younger brother of Cuthbert Burbage. They were both actors in drama. Burbage was a business associate and friend to William Shakespeare.
The Globe Theatre was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, on land owned by Thomas Brend and inherited by his son, Nicholas Brend and grandson Sir Matthew Brend, and was destroyed by fire on 29 June 1613. A second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by June 1614 and closed by an Ordinance issued on 6 September 1642.
Philip Henslowe was an Elizabethan theatrical entrepreneur and impresario. Henslowe's modern reputation rests on the survival of his diary, a primary source for information about the theatrical world of Renaissance London. He was portrayed by actor Geoffrey Rush in the Academy Award-winning film Shakespeare in Love.
The Rose was an Elizabethan theatre. It was the fourth of the public theatres to be built, after The Theatre (1576), the Curtain (1577), and the theatre at Newington Butts – and the first of several playhouses to be situated in Bankside, Southwark, in a liberty outside the jurisdiction of the City of London's civic authorities. Its remains were excavated by archaeologists in 1989.
The Theatre was an Elizabethan playhouse in Shoreditch, just outside the City of London. It was the first permanent theatre ever built in England. It was built in 1576 after the Red Lion, and the first successful one. Built by actor-manager James Burbage, near the family home in Holywell Street, The Theatre is considered the first theatre built in London for the sole purpose of theatrical productions. The Theatre's history includes a number of important acting troupes including the Lord Chamberlain's Men, which employed Shakespeare as actor and playwright. After a dispute with the landlord, the theatre was dismantled and the timbers used in the construction of the Globe Theatre on Bankside.
The King's Men was the acting company to which William Shakespeare (1564–1616) belonged for most of his career. Formerly known as the Lord Chamberlain's Men during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, they became the King's Men in 1603 when King James I ascended the throne and became the company's patron.
John Heminges was an actor in the King's Men, the playing company for which William Shakespeare wrote. Along with Henry Condell, he was an editor of the First Folio, the collected plays of Shakespeare, published in 1623. He was also the financial manager for the King's Men.
The Curtain Theatre was an Elizabethan playhouse located in Hewett Street, Shoreditch, just outside the City of London. It opened in 1577, and continued staging plays until 1624.
The Lord Chamberlain's Men was a company of actors, or a "playing company", for which Shakespeare wrote during most of his career. Richard Burbage played most of the lead roles, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. Formed at the end of a period of flux in the theatrical world of London, it had become, by 1603, one of the two leading companies of the city and was subsequently patronized by James I.
The Admiral's Men was a playing company or troupe of actors in the Elizabethan and Stuart eras. It is generally considered the second most important acting troupe of English Renaissance theatre.
Cuthbert Burbage was an English theatrical figure, son of James Burbage, builder of the Theatre in Shoreditch and elder brother of the actor Richard Burbage. From 1589 he was the owner of the ground lease of the Theatre. Best known for his central role in the construction of the Globe Theatre, he was for four decades a significant agent in the success and endurance of Shakespeare's company, the King's Men.
Lord Strange's Men was an Elizabethan playing company, comprising retainers of the household of Ferdinando Stanley, Lord Strange. They are best known in their final phase of activity in the late 1580s and early 1590s. After 25 September 1593, they were known as the Earl of Derby's Men, that being the date of Stanley's accession to his father's title.
Augustine Phillips was an Elizabethan actor who performed in troupes with Edward Alleyn and William Shakespeare. He was one of the first generation of English actors to achieve wealth and a degree of social status by means of his trade.
William Sly was an actor in English Renaissance theatre, a colleague of William Shakespeare and Richard Burbage in the Lord Chamberlain's Men and the King's Men.
Richard Cowley was an actor in English Renaissance theatre, a colleague of William Shakespeare and Richard Burbage in the Lord Chamberlain's Men and the King's Men.
George Bryan was an actor in English Renaissance theatre, a member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men with William Shakespeare and Richard Burbage.
In the historical era of English Renaissance drama, an Inn-yard theatre or Inn-theatre was a common inn with an inner courtyard with balconies that provided a venue for the presentation of stage plays.
John Underwood was an early 17th-century actor, a member of the King's Men, the theatrics company of William Shakespeare.
King's Men personnel were the people who worked with and for the Lord Chamberlain's Men and the King's Men from 1594 to 1642. The company was the major theatrical enterprise of its era and featured some of the leading actors of their generation — Richard Burbage, John Lowin, and Joseph Taylor among other — and some leading clowns and comedians, like Will Kempe and Robert Armin. The company benefitted from the services of William Shakespeare, John Fletcher, and Philip Massinger as regular dramatists.