With the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death coming up, the capital will soon be awash with Bard-related events. A particularly enticing programme is building around one of his lesser-known playhouses.
You may not have heard of the Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch. It closed 400 years ago, but not before staging the original Shakespeare productions of Romeo and Juliet, and Henry V.
The theatre's remains were rediscovered in 2012, and are about to get a thorough archaeological survey ahead of development on the site. A new tower called The Stage will be constructed here, and will incorporate the remains of The Curtain.
To mark the excavation by MOLA and Shakespeare400, a bumper programme of walks and talks will take place through the spring:
- A talk about Shoreditch as London's first Theatreland (31 March)
- A talk with TV historian Michael Wood, on Shakespeare's life (5 April).
- Two academics talk about London's early theatre scene (11 April).
- How accurate was Henry V, first performed at The Curtain? (18 April).
- A walk around Shoreditch with Senior Archaeologist Julian Bowsher, looking for Shakespearian sites (23 April, repeated on 5 May).
- A panel talk about modern staging of Shakespeare in London, inside the remains of Bankside's Rose Theatre (25 April).
- The Curtain and Crime, a walk around Shoreditch, looking at how the theatres provoked roguishness in the area (28 April, repeated 14 May).
- Actor Ben Crystal asks 'what would it have been like to go to the theatre in Shakespeare's day?' (5 May).
- Eating and Drinking in Shakespeare's Theatreland, a talk (6 May).
- A history of the Curtain theatre, with Lucy Munro (13 May).
- Shakespeare in London with noted bard authority Prof Stanley Wells (20 May)
- A talk on the excavation of The Curtain, along with nearby The Theatre (25 May).