When we think of William Shakespeare and performances of his many famed works from Romeo and Juliet to Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing we often think of the famed Globe Theater. What many non-Shakespearean historians may not know however is that Shakespeare’s theater company actually performed at a lesser known venue years prior to the debut of the Globe Theater.
Now archaeologists have discovered the remains of an Elizabethan theater where some of the authors earlier works were first performed with his company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
Archaeologists from the Museum of London have unearthed a yard and gallery walls from the Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch, a location just east of London’s business district.
Known as The Curtain the location debuted in 1577 and was used by Shakespeare for the two years prior to the Globe Theater opening up on the other side of the river.
The Curtain is famously described in Henry V as “this Wood O.”
A real estate company that is redeveloping the site announced on Wednesday that it will preserve the remains as further excavation on the site is planned.
This is not the first playhouse to be discovered in the area, in 2008 another group of archaeologists found the remains of an even earlier playhouse which was known in its day simply as The Theatre.
How the newly discovered theater site will be redeveloped is not known, however it is certain to receive plenty of foot traffic as Shakespeare fans from around the world try to grab a glance at the original theater the famed author called home for his earliest works.