The Knight of the Burning Pestle

Francis Beaumont (1584 - 1616) and John Fletcher (1579 - 1625)

The Knight of the Burning Pestle is a play in five acts, first performed in 1607. It is the first whole parody (or pastiche) play in English. The play is a satire on chivalric romances in general, similar to Don Quixote. It breaks the fourth wall from its outset. As a play called "The London Merchant" is about to be performed, a Citizen and his Wife "in the audience" interrupt and demand that the players put on a play of their own choosing and suggest that their apprentice, Rafe, should have a part in the play as a knight errant. He refers to himself as the "Grocer Errant" and has a burning pestle on his shield as a heraldic device. This meta-fictional plot is intercut with the main plot of the interrupted play, where Jasper Merrythought, the merchant's apprentice, is in love with his master's daughter, Luce, and must elope with her to save her from the arranged marriage with Humphrey, a "swell" or City man of fashion. Meanwhile Jasper's mother has decided to leave her husband Old Merrythought, who, in an apparent mid-life crisis, has spent all his savings in drinking and partying. Summary by Wikipedia and Rob Board


Narrator: Kristin Gjerløw

Citizen: Phil Birss

Wife: Jo Vickers

Rafe / Michael: Rob Board

Boy: ScarlettG

Venturewell: John Burlinson

Luce: Charlotte Duckett

Humphrey: Hamlet

Merrythought: ToddHW

Mistress Merrythought: Sonia

Jasper: davidpr

Tim: Dillon McFarlane

George: Michele Eaton

Speaker of Prologue / William Hammerton: alanmapstone

Tapster / 2nd Soldier: Leanne Yau

Host: Anna Simon

Man / 2nd Man / 3rd Man: TomDavisBeal

Barber / Sergeant: Joseph Tabler

Woman / 1st Soldier: MaryAnn

Pompiona: Newgatenovelist

Servant: Georgina Shaw

George Greengoose: David Purdy

Edited by: Rob Board

Genre(s): Satire

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Dramatis Personae Rob Marland
Play 01 Act I Group 00:36:24
Play 02 Act II Group 00:32:55
Play 03 Act III Group 00:35:27
Play 04 Act IV Group 00:27:41
Play 05 Act V Group 00:24:36