Background & History
Friendly Folio - Plays
Here you can get the complete play in Friendly Folio format, similar to the Book that the original theatres would have used (these days we call it a prompt script). We use the First Folio punctuation and spelling in all our Classes and Workshops because we find it helps enormously in the understanding of the play, and preparation of the parts.
Select a play: Choose the play you would like from the table below and press the Select button to add it to your basket. If you click on the title of a play, you can also see what else Friendly Folio has connected with that play.
Cost: The price for each play is £10. This will give you reasonable photocopying rights, but no re-sale rights. We accept either PayPal or credit card. The price for a complete play (script and all the Parts) is between £65 and £85 (depending on how many characters it contains). Contact us for the cost of your chosen play, and pay for it using the Custom Payment Form.
Getting the script: We will send the script to you by email in PDF format, unless you specifically request it in Word or WordPerfect, and we email it to you once your payment has been verified. This will normally be within 2 working days (the complete set of Parts may take a little longer). We can also supply it formatted for US sized paper (PDF automatically adjusts to US paper size).
More about Plays
The 'fair' copy of the play was called the Book, and was often written out by a professional scribe. This was used both as the source for the Parts or Sides, and for the Book-holder (or prompter) to use during performances to keep the actors to the text.
There were four elements to a play:
We have evidence that the shortest time from a play being delivered to the theatre manager (in this case Philip Henslowe of the Rose Theatre) and its first performance was ten days, so all the work of preparation must have been very speedy indeed, as we discuss in Original Practices.
The text you get is that of the First Folio (except Pericles, which is taken from the Third Folio), with the Speech Headings standardised, and with a full cast list, with notes as to where doubling is often used, and which characters have been added to scenes. Scene and Act divisions have been added, and the few changes made to the Folio text all marked with an *, with a list at the end of what these changes are. If a change (most often a stage instruction) originates from a Quarto version of the play, then this is noted.
If you click on the title of a play, you can also find out what else we have connected with it: the complete set of Parts, whether it is a Beginning, and all the Speeches from that play. The spelling of the title is that of the First Folio, but if you use the search function other spellings will also bring up the play you want.