On this day in 1592 – Rose Theatre opened

The Rose Theatre was the first playhouse to be situated on Bankside, London. Built in 1587 by Philip Henslowe and John Chomley, a local grocer. Henslowe leased the land from the parish of St. Mildred in 1585. There is no records of what the Rose was used for until Henslowe’s diaries began in 1592, which show the Rose in use as a playhouse.

In 1592 an acting troupe combining of men from the Admiral’s Men and Lord Strange’s Men were using the Rose to perform many plays amongst them Shakespeare, Kyd and Marlowe. The theatre was expanded to accomodate the actors with the stage being moved back but the plague soon shut down the theatres of London. The actors took themselves on tour around Britain until the plague had passed.

Upon their return the company split into two with half staying with the Admiral’s Men and the others forming the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, with the latter going on to build the Globe Theatre in 1599.

The Rose was believed to have been pulled down in 1606 but you can still visit the foundations of this once great theatre today.

rose theatre

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