The Rose was an Elizabethan theatre. It was the fourth of the public theatres to be built, after The Theatre (1576), the Curtain (1577), and the theatre at Newington Butts (c. 1580?) – and the first of several playhouses to be situated in Bankside, Southwark, in a liberty outside the jurisdiction of the City of London's civic authorities.To visit The Rose Theatre on your trip to London, use our London trip itinerary maker app.
The Rose was built in 1587 by Philip Henslowe and by a grocer named John Cholmley. It was the first purpose-built playhouse to ever stage a production of any of Shakespeare's plays. The theatre was built on a messuage called the "Little Rose," which Henslowe had leased from the parish of St. Saviour, Southwark in 1585. The Rose was the first of several theatres to be situated in Bankside, Southwark near the south shore of the River Thames. The area was known for its leisure attractions such as bear/bull-baitings, gaming dens and brothels. It was located in the Liberty of Clink, a liberty outside the jurisdiction of the City of London's civic authorities. The Rose contained substantial rose gardens and two buildings; Cholmley used one as a storehouse, while Henslowe appears to have leased the other as a brothel. North of London, professional playhouses like the Curtain Theatre and The Theatre had already been open for over a decade. However, Henslowe recognized the ease at which audiences could ferry across the River of Thames and established a playhouse in this particular location.
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The Rose Theatre Reviews
great visit here last month, came across it by mistake on way to Globe and what a little gem, the girls were amazing, enthusiastic and very informative, showed us where they are trying to excavate... more »
What an atmosphere! A tiny stage next to the archeological remains of Shakespeare's actual Rose Playhouse. Intimate but exciting - and a real spirited performance from the actors. Fantastic... more »
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