Interlude: From the Latin for “between play,” a short play or other brief dramatic entertainment performed in an interval between the acts of a longer play or the courses of a banquet. The interlude, which flourished in England during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, when it was performed by professional acting troupes, was also popular in continental Europe, where it was known as the entremet in France, the intermezzo in Italy, and the entremes in Spain. The genre is often viewed as a transitional form between religious and secular drama, in particular the morality play and realistic comedy. Some interludes were allegorical or didactic, some emphasized intellect and wit, and some were comic or even farcical.
EXAMPLES: Henry Medwall’s Fulgens and Lucres (1497); John Heywood’s The playe called the foure PP; a newe and very mery enterlude of a palmer, a pardoner, a potycary, a pedler (c. 1520—1545), which features a lying contest among four men denominated by their respective trades.