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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: August ::
The Theatre at Shoreditch Discovered
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0473  Friday, 15 August 2008

[1] From:   John Briggs <
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     Date:   Wednesday, 13 Aug 2008 22:08:27 +0100
     Suct:   Re: SHK 19.0454 The Theatre at Shoreditch Discovered

[2] From:   David Kathman <
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     Date:   Wednesday, 13 Aug 2008 20:19:18 -0500
     Suct:   Re: SHK 19.0454 The Theatre at Shoreditch Discovered


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       John Briggs <
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Date:       Wednesday, 13 Aug 2008 22:08:27 +0100
Subject: 19.0454 The Theatre at Shoreditch Discovered
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0454 The Theatre at Shoreditch Discovered

 >It was undoubtedly on the road and in Shoreditch, with Burbage's son
 >and star actor Richard, that the upstart crow learned his trade, what
 >worked and what bored the groundlings so that they started cracking
 >walnuts and gossiping, how many kickshawses Andrew Aguecheek
 >could dance across the thrust stage before he fell off into the pit, and
 >what carried to the top gallery of The Wooden O: the famous phrase
 >from Henry V almost certainly refers to The Theatre and was first heard
 >there.

This is spectacularly inaccurate, even for a national newspaper. We just don't 
know where Shakespeare "learned his trade" or with whom. But by 1592 and the 
"upstart crow" jibe, he was at The Rose. Sir Andrew Aguecheek was at The Globe 
(not to mention the Middle Temple Hall.) Whatever kickshawses were, they 
probably weren't specific dance-steps: it was Sir Andrew's 'back-trick' which 
would send him off the stage. The Wooden O was definitely not The Theatre - 
Henry V was probably premiered at The Curtain while The Globe was being built.

John Briggs

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       David Kathman <
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Date:       Wednesday, 13 Aug 2008 20:19:18 -0500
Subject: 19.0454 The Theatre at Shoreditch Discovered
Comment:    Re: SHK 19.0454 The Theatre at Shoreditch Discovered

The site of the excavations are visible in a satellite photograph on Google 
Earth, which one can see at the following URL I created:

http://tinyurl.com/6du6tz

The building at the corner of Curtain Road and New Inn Yard, visible  in this 
photograph as a white square with a bit taken out of its upper  left corner 
(there was a Foxtons store on the ground floor when I was  there two years ago), 
has two plaques on it. One says "The site of this building forms part of what 
was once the precinct of the Priory of S. John the Baptist, Holywell. Within a 
few yards stood from 1577 to 1598, the first London building specially devoted 
to the performance of plays, and known as "The Theatre." The other plaque says 
"London Borough of Hackney. William Shakespeare Acted at The Theatre. Built by 
James Burbage. Plays by Shakespeare were performed here." The excavations 
mentioned in the press articles are visible as a construction area to the north 
and east of this building in the Google Earth photo, with a red crane rising 
above it. I'm not sure when the satellite photo was taken. Julian Bowsher, the 
Museum of London archeologist quoted in one of Hardy's articles, told me last 
week that they're not 100% certain that the remains they found are of the 
Theatre, but they're the right type of remains in the right place. A few years 
ago they found part of the Long Barn that was just to the south of the Theatre, 
and it was to the south of these new remains.

Dave Kathman

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