Lucie Skeaping | Uncovering forgotten music

Singing Simpkin and other Bawdy Jigs:
Musical Comedy on the Shakespearean Stage: Scripts, Music and Context

Roger Clegg and Lucie Skeaping, University of Exeter Press 2014

Singing Simpkin and other Bawdy Jigs  A popular crowd-pleaser in the late 16th and mid 17th century, the dramatic jig was a short, comic, bawdy musical-drama which included elements of dance, slapstick and disguise. With a cast of ageing cuckolds and young headstrong wives, knavish clowns, roaring soldiers and country bumpkins, jigs often followed as afterpieces at London's playhouses, and were performed at fairs, in villages and in private houses. Troublesome to the authorities, they drew the crowds by offering a lively antidote to more sober theatrical fare.

For the first time in 400 years nine jig scripts are re-united as far as possible with their original tunes, in this edition. It gives a comprehensive history, discusses sources, and offers practical information on staging jigs today.

'a thoroughly researched and densely documented volume, [Singing Simpkin] represents the most substantial and authoritative study of this elusive and much misunderstood genre' 

Stanley Wells, Times Literary Supplement 

'This excellent book offers a history of the genre, nine examples of English dramatic jigs from the period, and useful information on how to perform them' 

Early Music America


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