Shakespearean-Era Props Found at Site of His Early Theatre

News   Shakespearean-Era Props Found at Site of His Early Theatre
 
Bird whistles could have been used for sound effects.
Archaeological dig at the site of The Curtain Elizabethan playhouse where Shakespeare performed
Archaeological dig at the site of The Curtain Elizabethan playhouse where Shakespeare performed Wikimedia Commons

Archaeologists digging at the site of the 16th century Curtain Theatre in London have unearthed artifacts that may have been used in some of William Shakespeare's early plays, including Romeo and Juliet, according to a report in The Stage.

Among the findings: a bone comb that could have been used by Elizabethan hairdressers, a token of the kind used to buy beer at a concession, and a bird caller.

Project manager David Divers, of the Museum of London Archaeology, was quoted saying, ”Probably the most interesting thing is the bird caller. Plays like Romeo and Juliet have several references to birdsong so it could well have been used as a theatrical prop to create special effects.”

The site is being prepared for a £750 million construction project, called The Stage, which will include a 37-story residential tower, shops, restaurants and performance space.

The Curtain Theatre was built in 1577 next to the structure known simply as The Theatre and was home to Shakespeare's company, The Chamberlain's Men, in 1597-1598. The Chamberlain's Men built, and moved to, the more famous Globe Theatre in 1599. The company changed its name to The King's Men after they came under the personal sponsorship of King James in 1603.

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