Remains of Shakespeare's Curtain Theatre found

Posted Jun 6, 2012 by Layne Weiss
The AP is reporting that archaeologists in London have found remains of a theatre where some of William Shakespeare's plays were first performed.
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Manuel Harlan
The Curtain Theatre, located in Shoreditc just east of London's business district, is 435 years old. Experts at the Museum of London said Wednesday that they had discovered part of the gravel yard and gallery walls of the theatre, The AP reports.
The remains were found behind a pub.
Chris Thomas, the Museum of London's excavation leader, said the remains were "very well preserved," The Daily Mail reports.
Michael Boyd, director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, called the MOA's discovery "inspiring." He said he looks forward to "touching the mud and stone, if not wood and feeling the presence of that space where Shakespeare's early work, including the histories, made such a lasting impact," The Guardian reports.
According to The AP, museum archaeologists are planning a further excavation of the theatre later this year. A real estate company redeveloping the site says it plans to preserve the remains.
The Curtain Theatre was dismantled by Puritans in 1622, The Daily Mail reports.
According to The Guardian, it was fairly well known the theatre was in the area, but archaeologists were not sure of its exact location. The name "Curtain" comes from the ancient road where the theatre was located, Curtain Road.
Many experts speculate that plays which premiered at the Curtain Theatre include "Henry V," "Romeo and Juliet," and Ben Jonson's "Every Man In His Humour," The AP reports.
There is hope that the theatre can be restored and plays can once again be shown there, the Daily Mail reports.
Heather Knight, a senior archaeologist at the Museum of London said that despite these recent discoveries, there is still a lot left to learn about the Curtain Theatre, The AP reports.
"The late 16th century was a time of theatrical arms in London," she said. "The proprietors of these buildings were making improvements to attract customers. So to have the chance to look at the earliest of these buildings (The Theatre) and the one that had the longest life is a real opportunity."