New theatre to rise at site of Shakespeare playhouse

Posted Feb 8, 2013 by Eileen Kersey
During a London archaeological dig in 2008 the site of a theatre, once used by William Shakespeare, was discovered. Now planning permission has been granted which will result in a theatre being built on the site.
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Manuel Harlan
In 2008 a dig in Shoreditch London unearthed the remains of a theatre frequented by Shakespeare. The Bard in the 1500s simply referred to this building as 'The Theatre'. Now a new theatre will be built on the site.
Planning permission for a build on such a site would not have been guaranteed. However it would be a fitting place to build and a great tribute to Shakespeare. The BBC reports that 'a six-storey theatre and cafe will be built above the remains'.
The new theatre will incorporate modern technology with a glimpse back to the past. 'Visitors will be able to peer down to the foundations through glass panels in the ground floor'.
The original polygonal wooden structured building was opened in 1576. The Theatre along with another built a year later, The Curtain, were built outside of the city of London walls. The reason? They were built outside the walls as actors had been expelled from the city in 1575. This was to 'protect against disease and poor morals'. Shakespeare is known to have appeared on the stage of both The Theatre and The Curtain.
The Belvedere Charity trust owns the site. It has revealed its plans for the site online. As the document states, 'The site is extremely compact, of sixteen by nineteen meters, but surrounded by mid-rise commercial and residential buildings'.
In 2009 planning permission was granted to build. The latest application, which has also been granted, is for a more modern building with a larger capacity. The fact that it will also 'enable the display of the archaeological remains at ground-floor level', must have been a selling-point.
Playwright and poet William Shakespeare remains one of the United Kingdom's most famous former citizens. His plays may have been written more than 500 years ago but he is still widely read. These plays often form part of a school curriculum, are still performed around the world and some have been made into films.