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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27 September 2016

London is a city defined by its past. The Tower of London, The London Dungeon, Westminster Abbey and the city’s numerous bridges, palaces and monuments attract tourists in their droves, all keen to experience our capital’s past as well as sampling the lifestyle that modern London has to offer. Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre, which will sit at the heart of The Stage, is much more than just a historical building: it is a globally significant heritage site that, through this development will be uncovered, studied by expert archaeologists and preserved for the public to enjoy forever.

27 April 2016

Archaeologists from MOLA have officially begun the detailed excavation of The Curtain Theatre, one of Shakespeare’s least historically documented playhouses, in London’s Shoreditch. The dig was officially launched by Ed Vaizey MP, the Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, today – 400 years almost to the day since Shakespeare’s death.

21 March 2016

Before the famous productions of the West End, came London’s first theatre district, in Shoreditch, east London.

14 March 2016

William Shakespeare has to be one of Britain’s greatest and most significant historical figures, providing some of th

26 February 2016

Between the young and hip Shoreditch crowd, eclectic fashion trends and cool contemporary restaurants, is a rich history that adds an extra touch of character to this East London location.

08 October 2015

Dating back more than 400 years, eager theatregoers flocked to Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre to see the first performances of plays now considered to be the timeless hallmarks of British culture and international literature.


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