Edward Alleyn leaped to one side as a twenty pounder crashed onto the wooden stage, closely followed by a painted backdrop that fell as gracefully as the Virgin Queen's expression when she watched one of Shakespeare's sex romps.
"Who in the devil's name did that?" Marlowe climbed out of the prompter's box and stalked into the wings, cornering a tall and seemingly wealthy man in an elegant cape and hose.
"Sorry," said the newcomer. "It's this sword, you see. I haven't worn one in public for donkeys."
"Donkeys? Who are you?" said Grayson. "And what are you doing in my theatre?"
"Ah!" The man handed him a tiny piece of stiff parchment, upon which he'd written tiny, tiny letters. "Vittore Jasfoup, at your service."
"And what do you do, Mr. Jasfoup?"
"I'm a script editor." He gave a low, sweeping bow. "Is there any tea, or am I a several centuries too early for it?"