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The Rose Playhouse

The Rose, built in 1587, was the first Elizabethan Theatre on Bankside and was where Shakespeare learnt his craft. Remains of the Rose Theatre are protected and but there is an exhibition, accessed from Park Street.

The Rose has Open Days on the site every Saturday from 10am to 5pm where you can see a film presentation about the history of Bankside and the Rose Theatre, which includes the dig in 1989 and the future plans to redevelop and display the site. Entry is free but donations are kindly received. 

The Rose Theatre Trust stages many productions of contemporary Elizabethan and modern dramatic work, recently winning 'Best Director' and 'Best New Writing' awards at the Fringe Report Awards. Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition also offers tours of the nearby Rose Theatre site to pre-booked groups and during matinee performances during its theatre season.

Celebrate Shakespeare's Story in Bankside

Bankside was the home of William Shakespeare and the place where his most famous works were once created and performed. This April marks the 400th anniversary of his death and Bankside will be celebrating his legacy with a series of special events.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by William Shakespeare:

Directed by Alex Pearson, 5 to 29 April 2016

Wolf-Sister Productions brings to The Rose Playhouse one of his best loved comedies, Much Ado About Nothing. The war is over. Benedick and his younger friend Claudio just want to party. But a very different kind of battle is brewing, and this time their foes are Beatrice and Hero. When it comes to the opposite sex, the two soldiers are clueless, and victory is no longer assured. Set against the backdrop of WW2, this production examines the fragility of love in a world that is still reeling from the consequences of combat. The battle of the sexes is fought with words, not bullets, but can be just as brutal.

Tickets £12. Book here.

Open Days:

Every Saturday from 10am - 5pm, explore the fascinating history of The Rose and its exciting future. At present two thirds of the original foundations have been excavated and protected for future generations to experience. The Rose Theatre Trust is now engaged in raising funds to excavate the remaining third and to make the site a permanent display as an educational and historical resource for the public to learn from and enjoy. 

Special Talks:

As a part of Museum of London Archaeological Service (MOLA) events programme for Shakespeare 400, The Rose Playhouse will host two events.

  • Shakespeare Studies, 11 April, 7.30pm:

Q&A with Andy Casson and Duncan Salkeld

  • An Actor and Director Forum, 25 April, 7.30pm:

Directors from KDC, South London Theatre and Tower Theatre, and The Rose will give a short talk about putting on a recent production and how they see the relevancy of the work of Shakespeare to modern London. Two or three actors from each production will then perform a short scene from it.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE By William Shakespeare:

Co-Directed by Simon Rodda and Rebecca Rogers

After the success of their first production RECKLESS, Heady Conduct bring Shakespeare's dramatic comedy Measure For Measure to The Rose Playhouse, using their distinct mix of style and originality, utilising the genius of Shakespeare's writing to maximum effect. Over four hundred years after its first performance, Measure For Measure’s heady mix of hypocrisy, money, power, sex, religion, justice and mercy continues to resonate in a world still battling with issues of compassion and fear. 

Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm (Sunday Matinees at 3.00 pm Only).

Tickets £12. Book here.


Full address:
Rose Theatre Bankside, 56 Park Street, Bankside, London, SE1 9AR, United Kingdom
Phone No: 
+44 (0)20 7593 0026
Opening hours: 
Open days every Saturday, plus prearranged tours
Nearest tube: 
London Bridge
Nearest Rail: 
London Bridge
Disabled access: 
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