the past


for the future


The Curtain Theatre

'A kingdom for a stage, princes to act And Monarchs to behold the swelling scene!’ – Henry V, Act 1, Prologue

The remains of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch were discovered in 2011, three metres below the surface of the development. The Curtain was used as a theatre from 1577 to 1625, the longest history of use of all of London’s Shakespearean playhouses, and is believed to have been the venue from which Henry V was debuted.
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A glimpse into a hidden world.

This year archaeologists from MOLA will excavate the site of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre; the remains will be preserved in-situ and transformed into a local landmark. Explore our interactive timeline to discover a buried layer of history.
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Get involved by attending an exciting programme of public events.

Join MOLA at venues in and around Shoreditch for a series of lectures and tours from some of the most influential figures in archaeology and Shakespearean history.
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Information Centre

An insight into Shakespeare’s Shoreditch.

For more information on Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre explore our compelling offering of articles, guest posts, news stories and video content.
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08 August 2017

Just like a maturing fine wine or cask-strength whiskey, Shakespeare is more popular now than ever before. To those of us involved with The Stage development this is obvious, as eyewitnesses to the astonishing reaction to our excavation of Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre from around the world.

24 July 2017

Shakespeare’s works have had untold influence on our society and culture. Not only were Shakespeare’s plays and writings hugely influential in his own time, they continue to influence us today – 400 years after his death. Indeed, when Ben Jonson wrote the words quoted above in his poem, To the Memory of My Beloved the Author, Mr. William Shakespeare, it is unlikely that he knew quite how true his words would prove to be!

22 May 2017

Delve into Shakespeare’s London with Neil Constable, Chief Executive at Shakespeare’s Globe.

15 May 2017

Today, London is known for its theatres and London’s West End is has become a byword for the pinnacle of theatre quality, success and commercial appeal. Not so, in the 16th century!

08 May 2017

The much-anticipated excavation of the Curtain Theatre kept us all on the edge of our seats, as we craned our necks to see what would come out of the ground next. Promising to uncover truths about Elizabethan theatre culture, as well as Shakespeare himself, interest in the excavation was piqued by the array of historical artefacts uncovered during the three-month dig. 

13 April 2017

Last Friday saw the most recent event in the extensive engagement programme around MOLA’s excavations of The Curtain Theatre on behalf of Cain Hoy Investments and Galliard Homes. Time Truck Project Officer Magnus Copps offers his thoughts on the day.


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