Actors Bawds and Jades title image

Inside the ‘Bard in a Bush’ you will find soldiers returned from the wars, spies, drunkards and all manner of honest women making a living by serving drinks and keeping the players happy.

Robert Cecil’s Men try not to take ourselves too seriously, though we do pride ourselves on the quality of our interpretation. We aim to be a fun group to be with and provide a different view of renaissance life.

All of our characters have well researched back stories, from Percy Goodworth, our (unpublished) playwright and former adventurer to Eliza Addlestone, the chief (Beer) Puller and widow of a feckless husband who squandered her money on drink and even looser women.

Notices and Reviews

“Worth every penny.” “Very funny. I especially liked the monkey!” “Where’s my lawyer?”
Christopher Marlowe, Greenwich Queen Elizabeth I, Kenilworth William Shakespeare, Stratford

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  Captain Richard Stanton 

Captain Richard Stanton – Main sharer, manager and lead player.

Served in the armies of Queen Elizabeth in the Low Countries and Ireland, but is now engaged in a less dangerous profession (although some say he takes his life in his hands every time he goes on stage). As main sharer he insists on the lead roles, unless the company can persuade him otherwise. A sensitive soul, his main weakness is drink, so he is often not seen before midday. Commissioned by Sir Robert Cecil to take his company on tour, it is said that he is Cecil’s roving eyes and ears (when sober).
  Percy Goodworth 

Percy Goodworth – Sharer, book keeper and player.

Another ex-military man having served in Ireland under the Earl of Essex. Uses his military discipline to keep the company together, particularly in a crisis, although he has an eye for the ladies and can sometimes be distracted from his task. Known to gamble with the players to avoid paying wages, but his luck seems to have deserted him of late! Considers himself a bit of a poet but after many years of writing has so far failed to get someone to stage his only play (of course it might help if he finished it).
 Ingram Frizer 

Ingram Frizer - Sharer, gatherer and player.

Once a personal servant and theatrical business agent for Thomas Walsingham, cousin of the former Secretary of State, Sir Francis Walsingham. Ingram is a known con-artist, money lender and occasional courier/spy for the Queen’s secret service. He has on occasion boasted of his ability to lie convincingly under any circumstance…his acting, however leaves something to be desired! A noted drinking friend of Captain Stanton’s, Frizer is thought to have introduced him to Sir Robert Cecil.
 William Kempston 

William Kempston – Stagekeeper and player.

Son of Henry Kempston, Staffordshire wool merchant, he was schooled in London before working in Southampton organising the shipment of his father ’s wool to France. Looking for more he gained command of a merchantman named the Swift, at first sailing for his father, then independently shipping goods around Europe. Armed to face the Armada, the Swift was unfortunately sunk during combat. Refused financial help by his father, Will returned to London trying various jobs before eventually gaining employment with Cecil’s Men by dint of his carpentry skills learnt at sea.
 Joseph Ruddle 

Joseph Ruddle – Player and businessman.

Originally a brewer, Joseph has expanded his business interests in recent years. He is currently travelling with his son Thomas, who is just the right age for any female roles that may arise but has so far seemed reluctant to try on a dress.
 Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Stanton 

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Stanton (Daughter of Captain Stanton)

Liz was born in London and lived with her mother there, whilst her father was abroad on military service. Sadly her mother died of the plague when Liz was 10 years old and she moved out to stay with her grandparents, in the relative safety of a village in Leicestershire. When she heard that her father had returned to England and was touring with a group of travelling players, she pleaded to join him, mainly to further her growing interest in young men!
 Mistress Mary Theakston 

Mistress Mary Theakston – Landlady of the 'Bard.

Bearing a striking resemblance to her brother Robert, (a new and occasional member of the players) Mary has remained very quiet on the subject of her past. In order to avoid prying questions and utilise her many years of experience in the tavern trade Mary joined the company as Landlady of the travelling tavern The Bard in a Bush. Although not one to suffer fools gladly, Mary is still uncertain how she acquired the nickname of 'Scary' Mary.
 Mistress Elisa Addlestone 

Mistress Elisa Addlestone – Chief (beer) puller of the 'Bard.

A widow of a feckless husband who squandered her money on drink and women, Eliza was orginally from the midlands but travelled the country seeing the inside of many inns and occasionally working in them. When her husband died in a bar brawl, she took the opportunity to strike out on her own and join the touring players.

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