Definition of chronicle play in US English:

chronicle play

(also chronicle history)


  • A historical drama consisting of a series of short episodes arranged chronologically.

    • ‘Throughout the sixteenth century, the theatre had been turning increasingly secular and morality plays were giving way to chronicle plays, shifting from religious allegory to particular historic individuals.’
    • ‘For the rest of his life, he relied on European donors, who paid for literary adaptations: Kafka's The Trial in 1962, Chimes at Midnight - his own digest of Shakespeare's chronicle plays - in 1966, Isak Dinesen's The Immortal Story in 1968.’
    • ‘The years from 1593 to near the turn of the century are particularly lacking in records of plays or theaters; but it seems clear that the main developments of the drama were in romantic comedy and chronicle history.’
    • ‘In this thesis I explore the relationship between Shakespeare's English chronicle plays and John Foxe's Acts and Monuments.’
    • ‘The play's sources include a chronicle play, King Leir, the chronicles of Holinshed, and the Mirror for Magistrates.’