Rough, wild, drunken theatre; illegal renaissance sketch comedy. Utterly, unremittingly ridiculous.

In 1642 theatre was made illegal.

Theatre didn’t die.

Without a stage, without costumes or props, one man made it his mission to keep
performing and to keep British theatre alive – stitching together Shakespearean scenes and medieval interludes, soaking them in sex and violence and bawdy, unintellectual humour. So it was that a strange and dangerous new type of illegal theatre was born: The Droll.

You may think that you know classical theatre. You don’t. The Drolls challenge the safe, friendly, elitist and intellectual notions we have of the Shakespearean stage, cutting it all away in favour of pantomime, carnival, sex, farts and shouting. No other professional company has staged the Drolls since the 17th century, and all but the most specialist of scholars are completely ignorant of the fact that they ever existed. This was sketch comedy for the working man, performed in pubs and back alleys, hundreds of years before the first working mans club or comedy store. We want to redress the balance of historical theatre, and bring back a taste of the rough, visceral, populist performance style that existed alongside the likes of the Globe.

1hr 00m
The Vaults
07 — 10 Feb 21:15
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About the company

The Owle Schreame

Founded in 2008, the Owle Schreame explore and evolve historical techniques and approaches to recreate for modern audiences the intimate, visceral, interactive experience of historical storytelling and theatrical performance.

Brice Stratford, James Carney, Laura Romer-Ormiston, Duncan Hendry, Joseph Cullen, Sasha Wilson, Daisy Morris, Tim Grieveson

Press & Reviews


"It’s good shit, something organic and wild that we’re tickled to be a part of."

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The Plays the Thing

"ad-libbing, plenty of corpsing and working around the audiences’ constant laughter ... Everything becomes more farcical and over the top as the play goes along, and it’s just a pleasure to watch."

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Edinburgh Guide

"Every so often, perhaps only once in a Fringe, away from the mega-venues and their pre-packaged performances, one stumbles doon a close or up a stair and realises the essence of the Fringe is alive and kicking in some wee back room. It surely is here ... If you enjoy your comedy on the rare side (in all the best senses) hie ye to this one."

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