This evening featured a one-man performance by Jack Klaff of a long poem from 1609, entitled Pimlyco; ‘tis a mad world at Hoxton, and a talk and discussion of its importance led by Dr. Peter Howell.
The Pimlyco was a tavern in the suburb of Hoxton during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, famed for the quality of its ale, and for the egalitarian licentiousness – not to say drunkenness – that inevitably ensued from the ale’s consumption. Hahn and Howell’s dramatic interpretation of the poem brought out the cultural importance of Hoxton to Shakespearean London. Recent research suggests, in fact, that the poem Pimlyco is a source for The Tempest, and Dr. Howell’s talk developed the ways in which Hoxton can be considered as having inspired Caliban’s famous island in The Tempest.
© Matthew Hahn 2020