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Diligence (Liam Brennan) is ready as prompt with Chastity (Cara Kelly) in the foreground.

Diligence (Liam Brennan) is ready as prompt with Chastity (Cara Kelly) in the foreground.

Reconstructing the 1540 interlude from the eye-witness description revealed just how much of the 1552 play was already there in 1540. Despite their very different political contexts, the two evidently shared a desire to open up the political sphere to the needs of the commonwealth and to reform the governance of church and state. What had changed between the two productions was the death of James V, which robbed the nation of the readiest agent of political and social reform. In the absence of a king to whom he might address his concerns the playwright refashioned the play for a Scotland in which political authority and the will to reform were considerably more precarious, fragmented, and internally conflicted. ‚Äč