Today in Theatre History: The Singularly Unsensational Musical A Corset Line opens in 1596

News   Today in Theatre History: The Singularly Unsensational Musical A Corset Line opens in 1596 419 years ago today the infamous musical A Corset Line opened at London's Thames Square Theatre in a performance famously called a "torturous, altogether intolerable descent into the ninth circle of tastelessness" (Michael Quillington, The Cobble Street Journal).

Written by Francis Bacon and Francis Sausage, A Corset Line tells the story of a group of court jesters auditioning to be the queen's official juggler; those cut from the process are tortured at the Tower of London.

On opening night the audience sat open-mouthed in shocked disgust, then pummelled the stage with tomatoes, broccoli and the occasional kale bouquet. However, the real trouble began at the show's climax, when lead character "Chester the Jester Tester" consulted with "Sylvester the Jester Investor" about the talents of "Esther the Jester in Her Third Trimester." At this 11 o'clock moment, a particularly peeved audience member threw a handful of almonds at the stage, hitting severely allergic actor Leonardo da other Vinci, setting off an intense, life-threatening reaction. A stray fife and lute band wandered into the theatre at just this moment, sending the house into complete disarray as it played "Ye Old Baby Got Back." It is unclear if da other Vinci survived, but the show did not: The theatre burned down the next day at a subsequent performance due to another angry audience member, this one an arson.

http://cdn-gd.playbill.com/images/cache/remote/http_cdn-images.playbill.com/ee_assets/corse.jpg
Today’s Most Popular News: