Tracey Hill, London Journal, 2014 (Vol. 39, no.3, 297-299)
A Jacobean Company and its Playhouse is a much-anticipated study of an under-explored theatrical space, its repertory, and personnel… Dense with intriguing detail, this is a difficult book to skim-read. Its characteristic methodology is to build a careful case that eventually amounts to a whole new way of approaching tired clichés about this playhouse and its repertoire… it becomes impossible to sustain the idea of Red Bull plays as basically targeted at illiterates when, as Griffith demonstrates, these same plays were performed by the Queen’s Men with lavish masque-style spectacle at court… She produces a study embedded not just in its moment but also in its local terrain. The book turns the notion of unruly Clerkenwell on its head, arguing that it was rather an area of social diversity… Her measured analysis of this playhouse and its environs may – finally – put paid to lazy or uninformed critical assumptions about liberties and marginal areas. The book is so thoroughly and helpfully contextualized that its findings and arguments are sure to be of lasting value to all scholars of early seventeenth-century more widely.