Remains of Rose Theatre in London Better Preserved Than Previously Thought

News   Remains of Rose Theatre in London Better Preserved Than Previously Thought

The campaign to protect and display the remains of the Rose theatre has been given a further boost.

Mike Corfield, chief scientist for English Heritage, says the remains are far better preserved than had been expected.

The Rose, built in 1587, has been something of a poor relation to the Globe - recreated, a few yards from the Rose's site on the South bank of the Thames, and under the artistic direction of Mark Rylance - but is every bit as fascinating.

The Rose was more closely asociated with Christopher Marlowe than with Shakespeare, but was recreated for the film Shakespeare in Love. The set was bought by Dame Judi Dench, and there has been some talk of it being erected close to the current remains of, and museum devoted to, the original Rose Theatre.

The remains of the Hope theatre, which stood near the Globe and the Rose in the seventeenth century, have also been discovered and are being examined. The South Bank area was a flourishing one for playhouses at the time of Shakespeare as the land was outside the City of London and the jurisdiction of its relatively Puritan authorities.

The recreation of an Elizabethan theatreland on the South bank would certainly give a boost to the area and be a fascinating link to one of the most exciting periods of English theatre history. Given the fact that the millenium bridge is still inoperative, perhaps another Elizabethan tradition could be revived, with boatmen ferrying customers from the North to the Southbanks of the Thames: a novel way to arrive at a theatre.

—by Paul Webb Theatrenow