Our New York friends Superfluities and Parabasis alert me to Time Out New York's theatre editor David Cote's swanky new blog Histriomastix. Hie thee there and subscribe at once. David of course charms all us bloggers by making no bones about where the action is these days:
A mainstream media (MSM) critic openly admiring a corner of the blogosphere...unthinkable! But not really. When critics at the city's leading media outlets either get the facts dead wrong, express outdated, middlebrow tastes, fawn over celebrities, remain ignorant of rising talent downtown, fail to support daring young playwrights and companies, or make it painfully clear that they have never actually worked in the field, then it's time to turn to blogs for informed opinion and passion.Quite. Being curious whether Mr Cote had been reading too much Goscinny and Uderzo, I googled Histriomastix, and discovered it is an anathema on the theatre served by one fiery puritanical soul, William Prynne (1600-1669). To wit:
The players scourge, or, actors tragædie, divided into two parts. Wherein it is largely evidenced, by divers arguments, by the concurring authorities and resolutions of sundry texts of Scripture, That popular stage-playes are sinfull, heathenish, lewde, ungodly spectacles, and most pernicious corruptions; condemned in all ages, as intolerable mischiefes to churches, to republickes, to the manners, mindes, and soules of men.That's telling us.
And that the profession of play-poets, of stage-players; together with the penning, acting, and frequenting of stage-playes, are unlawfull, infamous and misbeseeming Christians. All pretences to the contrary are here likewise fully answered; and the unlawfulnes of acting, of beholding academicall enterludes, briefly discussed; besides sundry other particulars concerning dancing, dicing, health-drinking, of which the table will informe you.