Supplying every stage

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It’s been a busy time in the theatre world…

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Let him seek danger where he was to find fame

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This letter in the Guardian, about the dangers of the stage, got me thinking about why live theatre is so exciting and it is, undeniably, because of the danger. I don’t mean – in this Health and Safety conscious age – the actual physical danger*, but more just the knowledge that things are unpredictable and the end has not already been filmed.

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A kingdom for a stage I

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So this is the first post in a series – about Shakespeare in London, and the places where his places were originally performed.

Shakespeare must have come to London in the 1580s – by 1592, he was being insulted as an “Upstart Crow” which indicates some level of success (and fame).

There were already a number of purpose-built theatres scattered around the outskirts of London, The Red Lion in Whitechapel was the first, followed by the Theatre (1576) and the Curtain (1577) in Shoreditch, and the Rose at Bankside (1587), the first theatre-house in Southwark. They were built outside the city, as the Mayor and Corporation of London had banned plays as a measure to prevent the plague. It seems likely Shakespeare’s early plays were put on by a number of different companies – the title page of the 1594 edition of Titus Andronicus showed that it had been acted by three different companies.

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