Rose Theatre Will Rise Again

In my first year of university, I wrote an essay on the Rose Theatre. It’s the lesser-known sister to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and a stone’s-throw west of that famous theatre. Shakespeare acted at the Rose, and several of his and Marlowe’s plays were performed there. Here’s what the theatre might have looked like (thought there is much debate about how many sides it actually had).

The remains of the Rose (as opposed, I suppose, to the Name) was discovered, to much excitement, in 1989, while excavating for a new office building. They still built the building, but left a large, dark cavity underneath it to preserve the remains. Unfortunately, the remains weren’t open to the public. Soon, they will be (via Mirabilis):

Leading figures from the British stage, including Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench will next month launch a 5 million pound plan to resurrect the historic building, which first staged Shakespeare’s early plays, including Titus Andronicus and Henry VI Part I. Supports plan to reopen it in four years’ time.

So, it won’t so much rise, as, you know, lie there in the mud while people look at it. But it’s still great news for those interested in theatre history and architecture.

I literally gasped when I stepped into the auditorium of the replica Globe Theatre in London. Their attention to detail was astonishing, and (to use a cliche) it was literally like stepping into history. One of my favourite tidbits about the Globe project is that, while it’s a working theatre, if historians uncover new information about the structure’s appearance, they’ll change the building to match.

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