Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre – the pop-up Elizabethan playhouse which made its national debut in York last summer, staging four Shakespeare plays within an Elizabethan village – has been nominated in three categories at the 2019 Visit York Tourism Awards: for Newcomer of the Year, Innovation in Tourism, and Visitor Experience of the Year.
The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 20 June at the National Railway Museum in York, with the winners decided by an independent panel, selected for their experience and knowledge of the tourism industry. Further information can be found at visityork.org/tourismawards
Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre has already been recognised for its success, with previous awards including Best Cultural Experience at the York Culture Awards 2018, as well as Outstanding Cultural Collaboration for its two productions with York Theatre Royal – Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream – which were performed along with Romeo & Juliet and Richard III over the 10 week summer of Shakespeare. At York’s Minster FM annual Listener Choice Awards, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre was awarded Best Attraction.
Originator of the project and CEO of international theatre company, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, James Cundall, said “We are absolutely delighted to have been nominated for these prestigious awards. I am very proud of the hard-working team who made this ground-breaking event happen – these awards acknowledge their achievement.”
Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre played to almost 80,000 people during its first season, garnering critical and popular acclaim. It will return to York for 10 weeks in 2019 as well as expanding nationally with a 9 week residency at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Both theatres will run simultaneously throughout summer this year, performing a total of eight Shakespeare plays. Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre will also be going international in 2019, with a season at The Theatre at Solaire in Manila from 17 – 22 September, with performances of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The 13-sided Elizabethan-style playhouse, complete with an Elizabethan village will return to the foot of 13th century Clifford’s Tower, where it will open on 25 June and run until 1 September with performances of Hamlet, Henry V, The Tempest and Twelfth Night, whilst the new theatre in the glorious grounds of ‘Britain’s Greatest Palace’ will run from 8 July until 7 September with performances of Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet and Richard III.
At both the York and Blenheim Palace sites, the Shakespearean theatres will be constructed over a three week period using state-of-the-art scaffolding technology, corrugated iron and timber. Inspired by the famous London Rose Playhouse built in 1587, 12 years prior to The Globe, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre will house an audience of 900, with 560 seated on three tiered balconies around an open-roofed courtyard with standing room for 340 ‘groundlings’.
Both theatres will be located within a Shakespearean village, bringing an authentic Elizabethan ambience and theatricality to the event, including:
- ‘Wagon’ performances of Elizabethan-style entertainment, including comic mini-plays, speeches and mediaeval musicians
- The best Yorkshire and Oxfordshire food and drinks, housed in the oak-framed and reed-thatched Bear Arms pub
- In York, an Elizabethan garden created by Yorkshire garden designer Sally Tierney, with ornate box-edged beds of roses, cottage flowers, herbs and vegetables. Mrs Tierney is the winner of a Silver-Gilt medal at the Royal Horticultural Society’s renowned Chelsea Flower Show, and created the Elizabethan garden for Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in York last year to great acclaim
- In Blenheim, a village pond, farm wagons and carts, and an array of vintage farming implements, evoking a rustic rural scene
- Tables and benches around the village, enabling visitors to enjoy the medieval atmosphere
Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre and Shakespeare’s Village are produced by Yorkshire-based Lunchbox Theatrical Productions. The Blenheim Palace season is presented in association with Raymond Gubbay Ltd and Blenheim Palace.