Part1 500 words research about the Rose Theater

2The Rose Theatre

The Rose Theatre

The Rose Theatre

The Rose Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in London having been built in the year 1587. John Cholmley was in charge of building it. It was the first theatre to host a Shakespeare play. As the years passed by, the theatre made history by being the theatre where most of the Shakespeare plays were first acted. It is classified as an Elizabethan theatre, which are theatres that were built from the year 1562 up until the year 1642.

The Rose was located in Southwark, which is near River Thames’ south shore. It had rose gardens thus its name. It also had two buildings, which were used as a store and a brothel. Henslowe later decided to add a third building, which would be used as a theatre. John Griggs was put in charge of building it. It was built with timber. The exterior was however plastered and the roof thatched. It had the shape of a polygon with 14 sides. The interior of the theatre was 47 feet wide while the exterior had a diameter of approximately 72 feet (Greenfield & Gurr, 2004, p334).

The Rose Theatre was well known for hosting plays that focused on history. The theatres that were setup around the Rose specialized in different themes, for example, The Swan Theatre mostly hosted comedies. This made each of the theatre different, thus, they were all able to attract different crowds. However since the stage for the Rose Theatre was much bigger than those of the theatres in that era were, it had an advantage over other theatres since it could host plays that involved large scenes (Ford, 1999). The size of the stage was a major affecting factor in the play ‘The Spanish Tragedy’. The play was able to utilise the space that the large stage provided in order to bring out the theme of revenge successfully.

The excavation of the Rose Theatre was first done in the year 1989. The theatre was discovered during the construction for some offices in that area. The discovery led to the realization that the better part of the theatre was in good shape. Some of the leaders and theatre fanatics campaigned hard against the demolition of the site and advocated for the protection of the site as a part of London’s history. The government intervened and thus efforts were dedicated in order to uncover the whole theatre. Harvey Sheldon was the senior archaeologist in this project (Trucco, 1989). The excavation went on to uncover the Globe Theatre, which was part of the Rose Theatre. During the excavation, the National Museum in London was able to collect artefacts that are currently stored in the museum. After the excavation, the site was opened to the public. They could therefore visit the site and experience the history associated with Shakespeare’s plays first-hand.

The excavation of 1989 had some effects on the UK. One of these effects was the enactment of a law that served to preserve historical sites. The controversy associated with the excavation of the Rose Theatre made the politicians in the UK realize how much they had neglected their duties in preserving history. The law was enacted in 1990 and was known as PPG16. It was amended in 2012 and is now known as National Planning Policy Framework (Curtain Theatre Team, 2016). This law help protect all the historical sites for the lovers of history to enjoy exploring.

According to findings from the excavation, the stage of the Rose Theatre had a width of 37 feet. The stage front however was much smaller as it was 27 feet. The stage had a height of 17 feet, which was much shorter than the stages in playhouses in its era. This stage made it easy for the actors to connect with audience. It therefore made the playhouse more suited for rhetorical plays such as those of Edward Alleyn (Thomson, 2013, p40).


BBC. 2001. Plan to excavate Rose Theatre. Available from[Accessed April 24 2017].

Curtain Theatre Team. 2016. Excavating Shakespeare’s playhouses: from the Rose to the curtain. Available from [Accessed April 27, 2017].

Ford, D. 1999. The history of The Rose Theatre. Available from [Accessed April 24 2017].

Greenfield, J. & Gurr, A. 2004. The Rose Theatre, London: The state of knowledge and what we still need to know. Antiquity, 78(300), 330-340.

Thomson, P. 2013. Shakespeare’s Theatre. London: Routledge.

Trucco, T. 1989. Debate in London on excavating where the globe may have been. Available from [Accessed April 24 2017].