Out of the Wings

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El príncipe constante (c.1629), Pedro Calderón de la Barca


This is a three-act historical comedia.


The action takes place in Fez and Tangiers and their surroundings, beginning in 1437. A small portrait of Tarudante is given to Fenix in the first scene. In the middle of the first act, the Christian fleet lands on African soil and the Fernando and Enrique mention their joy at kissing the ground, as they intend to subdue their enemies beginning with this beach landing. There are several battles in the play which could easily take place offstage. The greatest staging challenge of the play is Ferdinand’s deterioration; in his imprisonment he is first treated well, but later he is stripped, starved, beaten and made to work; by the end of the play, his body is emaciated and putrefying. He comes back from the dead wearing a decorated cloak and bearing a light to guide his army.

Cast number
Minimum Maximum
10 males 16 males
4 females 6 females
14 (total) 22 (total)
Cast information
John Clifford’s version conflates some characters, with a new total of one or two women and nine men, plus three Christian captives.
  • DON FERNANDO, Prince
  • DON ENRIQUE, Prince
  • THE KING OF FEZ, An old man
  • MULEY, A general
  • BRITO, Comic servant
  • DON ALFONSO, King of Portugal
  • TARUDANTE, King of Morocco
  • FÉNIX, Princess
  • ROSA
  • ZARA

Entry written by Kathleen Jeffs. Last updated on 31 January 2012.

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