19 April 2023

Museum of Shakespeare exploring London’s first theatreland announced

19 April 2023

The Museum of Shakespeare is set to open in spring 2024 allowing visitors to explore the archaeological remains of The Curtain Playhouse for the first time.

The new immersive and interactive experience will be a permanent addition to Shoreditch, East London, and will transport visitors into the footsteps of the famous playwright.

Archaeological excavation of the site took place between 2011 and 2016 and the new museum, which is set within the remains of the Shakespearean Playhouse, will make them publicly accessible for the first time.

Heather Knight, senior archaeologist at Museum of London Archaeology, said: “Leading the excavations on the site of the Curtain, one of London’s earliest and longest-lived playhouses that have transformed our understanding of Early Modern performance, has been an immense privilege and I am very much looking forward to the next chapter in the history of The Curtain when the Museum of Shakespeare opens its doors in 2024.”

Set in the year 1598 and located three metres underground, the museum will retell the life of Shakespeare through “dynamic experiences, innovative theatrical technology and archaeological discoveries”, organisers said.

The museum experience will include original objects alongside multisensory experiences and a chance to walk on the stage where Shakespeare presented plays such as Romeo And Juliet and Henry V.

Standing over the remains of the stage will be a projected reconstruction of the Playhouse, allowing visitors to stand in the heart of the theatre experience.

The Museum of Shakespeare has been created by creative studio Bompas and Parr in collaboration with Museum of London Archaeology and Historic England.

It will be housed within The Stage development delivered by Cain International alongside McCourt Global, Galliard Homes, Vanke, Investec and The Estate Office Shoreditch.

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