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Child Actors on the London Stage, circa 1600: Their Education, Recruitment and Theatrical Success (Paperback)
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A legal document dated 1600 for a Star Chamber case titled Clifton vs. Robinson details how boys were abducted from London streets and forcibly held in order to train them as actors for the Blackfriars theatre. The taking of grammar-school boys for re-training as actors was not opportunistic; their abductions were planned. The theatre owners undertook this method of recruitment as they felt that they were immune from prosecution due to holding royal commissions. However, the Clifton vs. Robinson case clearly demonstrates that a determined parent whose child had been taken could challenge this and demand reparation.
About the Author
Julie Ackroyd is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Honorary Associate of the Classics Department. She has also worked as an Assistant Producer with the BBC, aas well as a judge for the Society of London Theatres Olivier Awards.