Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

The Theatre

Academic journal article Theatre Notebook

The Theatre

Article excerpt

The Tower Theatre Company, founded in 1932, from 1953 until recently was based at Canonbury Tower in North London. They have now acquired a site for their new theatre at New Inn Broadway, off Curtain Road in Shoreditch. Provisional plans have been drawn up, and the start of construction depends on raising additional funds, and securing planning permission. Because the site is within the area of Holywell Priory, a nunnery that was dissolved by Henry VIII, an archeological investigation by the Museum of London was arranged.

The existing building is a single-storey warehouse, with a paved floor at about street level. Below this floor there has never been a basement, unlike most Victorian buildings in towns, so lower layers have not been destroyed. About five feet lower down, two lengths of brick foundations have been found, meeting at an oblique angle, with part of a paved yard to the south side of it. This is believed to be part of the inner brick foundation of a polygonal building, most probably James Burbage's first theatre, 'The Theatre' (1576). The slope of the inner yard suggests that the stage was to the south side of the building, facing northwards, in the opposite orientation to that of the Rose (1587). …

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