IAIN MACLEAN

 

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Here are my mutterings and musings mainly on art.

Shakespeare's original theatre in London (before the Globe) is being excavated now.

By themaclean, Apr 7 2016 07:51AM


In 1594, Shakespeare became a shareholder in a theatre company called, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. They They were based in a theatre, called the Curtain, based, somewhere in Shoreditch, London.


It was here that Romeo and Julliet and Henry V were first performed. This is where he made his reputation as London's leading playwright and "mellifluous and honey-tongued poet."


Four years later, in 1598, the lease ran out and they were forced to move to new premises south of the Thames, In Southwark, which became known as the Globe Theatre.


I'd never heard of the Curtain and was surprised to hear of its existence, when, in 2011, archaeologists from the Museum of London announced the discovery at Plough Yard in Shoreditch, now one of the twee and twendiest parts of the city.


According to archaeologist, Chris Thomas, "It looks to be the same size and shape as the Globe or the Rose — but in this case the survival is much better."


Unfortunately, unlike the Globe, it won't to be a free-standing building, because it's bang in the

middle of a new office and residential development. According to the developers, "there will be a glass platform above the remains which visitors can walk across. A 200-seat sunken amphitheatre will provide a venue for plays to be performed."


It's a shame. The Curtain may have fared better had it found champion such as Sam Wanamaker, who battled for years to have the Globe restored.


Archaeologists hope to complete excavations by this Summer, 2016.



An etching of Shakespear's Curtain Theatre
An etching of Shakespear's Curtain Theatre
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