On 28 December 1594, the Lord Chamberlain's Men performed The Comedy of Errors at Gray's Inn* as part of the Christmas "law revels," the first Yuletide festivities since the plague.

Gray's Inn was the largest of the four Inns of Court in London where the young gentry studied for the bar. It was noted for its elaborate masques and revels.

Close

Because the crowd was large and unruly, it was "thought good not to offer any thing of Account, saving Dancing and Revelling with Gentlewomen... [and] a Comedy of Errors... [which] was played by the Players."

The official report continues: "So that Night was begun, and continued to the end, in nothing but Confusion and Errors; whereupon, it was ever afterwards called, The Night of Errors."

The sequel

A mock-trial held the next day blamed the incident on a sorcerer who had "foisted a Company of base and common Fellows, to make up our Disorders with a Play of Errors and Confusions."

Footnotes

  1. Gray's Inn

    Gray's Inn was the largest of the four Inns of Court in London where the young gentry studied for the bar. It was noted for its elaborate masques and revels.