Edward Alleyn

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Edward Alleyn

Edward Alleyn (born September 1, 1566 in London , † November 25, 1626 ibid) was one of the most famous actors in William Shakespeare's time .


Alleyn was the son of a London landlord. As a teenager he joined the jugglers and actors troupe of the Earl of Worcester ( Worcester Men ). From 1584 to 1585, this troupe appeared on various occasions between London and Stratford-upon-Avon .

In 1585 Alleyn went back to London to take the chance to become a court actor. Soon after his arrival, he became a member of the Admiral's Men theater company . He played with this ensemble for almost life. Alleyn achieved his greatest success with the leading roles of Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine and The Jew of Malta .

Alleyn also appeared on stage in plays by Robert Greene such as Orlando furioso . All of these successes made Alleyn not only famous, but also very wealthy. On October 22, 1592 he married Joan Woodward , a stepdaughter of the theater director Philip Henslowe, in London . As a dowry, his wife brought a partnership with the Rose Theater into the marriage.

When the plague broke out in the spring of the following year , the theater was closed for a few months. Only at the turn of the year 1593/94 was the danger over and the group Admiral's Men was hired exclusively for the Rose Theater. By 1596 this theater brought over 55 new productions to the stage. The wise men of Chester by Anthony Munday alone has been performed 32 times.

In 1598, Alleyn ended his career as an actor at the age of 32 and was only active as manager and artistic director. On January 8, 1600, Alleyn and his father-in-law Philip Henslowe founded the Fortune Theater . The builder Peter Street was instructed to build an exact replica of the Globe Theater here.

At the age of 47, Alleyn bought a stately home in Dulwich . He founded a hospital there in 1619 and the College of God's Gift at Dulwich (today Dulwich College ).

His wife Joan died on June 28, 1623. Alleyn quickly found consolation in Constance Donne , a daughter of the writer John Donne . At the age of 57, Alleyn married the twenty-year-old on December 3, 1623. The two were granted three more years.

Edward Alleyn caught a cold while on a business trip to Yorkshire and died in London on November 25, 1626 at the age of 60.


Web links