interlude

interlude
interludial, adj.
/in"teuhr loohd'/, n.
1. an intervening episode, period, space, etc.
2. a short dramatic piece, esp. of a light or farcical character, formerly introduced between the parts or acts of miracle and morality plays or given as part of other entertainments.
3. one of the early English farces or comedies, as those written by John Heywood, which grew out of such pieces.
4. any intermediate performance or entertainment, as between the acts of a play.
5. an instrumental passage or a piece of music rendered between the parts of a song, church service, drama, etc.
[1275-1325; ME < ML interludium, equiv. to L inter- INTER- + lud(us) play + -ium -IUM]
Syn. 1. interval, respite, intermission, pause.

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      in theatre (theatre, Western), early form of English dramatic entertainment, sometimes considered to be the transition between medieval morality plays and Tudor dramas. Interludes were performed at court or at “great houses” by professional minstrels or amateurs at intervals between some other entertainment, such as a banquet, or preceding or following a play, or between acts. Although most interludes were sketches of a nonreligious nature, some plays were called interludes that are today classed as morality plays. John Heywood (Heywood, John), one of the most famous interlude writers, brought the genre to perfection in his The Play of the Wether (1533) and The Playe Called the Foure P.P. (c. 1544). The earl of Essex is known to have had a company of interlude players in 1468; the first royal company was apparently established in 1493.

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Universalium. 2010.

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