The Curtain Theatre, located in Shoreditch, will come to life with a collaborative event on Saturday 21 July between the University of Roehampton, MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), The Stage development, Shoreditch, and The Dolphin’s Back.

The team from the University of Roehampton’s Before Shakespearproject will host an afternoon of talks and performances from 1pm to 5pm at Hackney House*, adjacent to the theatre’s grounds.

The event, ‘The Curtain Rises: Diverse Histories at the Curtain Playhouse, will explore the heritage of the Curtain theatre and its importance for Shoreditch, the diversity of its audiences from Elizabethan times onwards, as well as what the playhouse represented in London during its heyday. A number of leading archaeologists, historians, and performers will present short interactive talks and performances about the playhouse and its relationship to British and international history.

Built in c. 1577, discovered by archaeologists in 2011, and excavated in detail in 2016 by MOLA, The Curtain Theatre was briefly home to Shakespeare’s company and represents a milestone in the development of modern theatre, predating The Globe and distinguished as being Elizabethan England’s longest-serving commercial playhouse.

Callan Davies, from the University of Roehampton’s Before

The Before Shakespeare project is led by Andy Kesson at the University of Roehampton and seeks to celebrate the development of London commercial theatre during the 16th century, highlighting how these early public playhouses are products of entrepreneurial, architectural, and creative innovation that in turn shape public perceptions of theatre.

Tickets for the event are available for £10 for Hackney residents and £10 standard entry. For more information about the event and to register attendance, please visitwww.beforeshakespeare.com.