Viewing Event Record: Spanish ambassador reports on 'A Game at Chess' controversy


In a letter to the Count-Duke of Olivares, Spanish ambassador Don Carlos Coloma reports that performances of Thomas Middleton's 'A Game at Chess' by the King's Men drew more than 12,000 people in the space of four days, 'including all the nobility still in London.' He describes contentious elements of the play's plot and performance, including the likeness of Gondomar 'almost to the life,' and maintains that audiences 'come out of the theatre so inflamed against Spain' that he has been warned for his safety. He summarizes a letter of complaint sent to King James asking for either the punishment of those responsible for the play or his safe passage from England.

Date Event Recorded

From: 10 August 1624 (Source of claim: transcription)

Date Event Happened

From: 6 August 1624 To: 17 August 1624 (Source of claim: transcription)


Globe (II)


King's Men (1603-1625)

Event Type

  • audience context
  • performance context