Ritchie, Chris

Dr. Chris Ritchie is the course leader of the Comedy: Writing & Performance degree at Southampton Solent University.

Idler and the Dandy in Stage Comedy, 500 B. C. to 1830
2007 0-7734-5439-X
This book follows the progress of the Greek parasite figure through his various interpretations by different poets as seen in the remaining fragments. On the Roman stage of Plautus, the parasite became a key comic figure in proceedings, later replaced by the wily slave. In medieval comedy he can be seen as the vice of morality plays, in mummers plays and he emerges as a type in early Tudor theatre. On the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage the chancing rascal was a frequent feature, most notably Falstaff. Throughout the Restoration dissipated gallants and workshy fops became well established and their behaviour reached the outer limits of the bawdy. In 18th century sentimental comedy the fascination with such roguery, ageing dandyism and peripheral scavengers remained, but modified. Rogues, idlers, skivers, flatterers and the work-shy: all chisellers.