Based in records and iconography, this book surveys medieval festival playing in Britain more comprehensively than any other work to date.
The study presents an inclusive view of the drama in the British Isles, from Kilkenny to Great Yarmouth, from Scotland to Cornwall.
It offers detailed readings of individual plays-including the York Creed Play, Pentecost and Corpus Christi plays and the little studied Bodley plays, among others - as well as a summary of what is known of their production. Clifford Davidson here extends the usual chronological range to include work typically categorized as early modern, enabling a juxtaposition of earlier plays with later plays to yield a better understanding of both.
Complementing documentary evidence with iconographic detail and citation of music, he pinpoints a number of common misconceptions about medieval drama. By organizing the study around the rituals of the liturgical seasons, he clarifies the relationship between liturgical feast and dramatic celebration.