Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre returns to York

Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean Theatre – Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre – today received approval from City of York Council to return for another two summers of Shakespeare in the historic city – 2019 and 2020. The 13-sided scaffolding structure, complete with an Elizabethan village, will return to the foot of 13th century Clifford’s Tower, where four of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays will be performed during the 10-week season: Hamlet, Henry V, The Tempest and Twelfth Night. Tickets go on sale today through Ticketmaster and York Theatre Royal.

Originator of the project and CEO of international theatre company, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, James Cundall said, “I am absolutely delighted City of York Council have formally approved our plans to bring back Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre to Castle car park for 2019 as well as 2020. We had a wonderful response from our 80,000 visitors over the summer and an overwhelming number of requests to return, so now preparations are in full swing for our four new productions! We are delighted to play a part in the fabric of York and offer something different for both residents and visitors.

Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: ‘Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre was one of the many highlights of 2018 for our county and Welcome to Yorkshire was proud to be a supporter of such a world-class event. I am very pleased to see the unique theatre return to York with four exciting new productions and am sure that once again local businesses and the wider York community will benefit hugely from this attraction. We are delighted to be a part of the drama again!”

The Elizabethan-style theatre will be constructed 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’.

Once again the theatre will be located within a free-to-enter 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 medieval musicians
  • the best Yorkshire food and drink, housed in oak-framed and reed-thatched buildings
  • and an Elizabethan garden, created by a leading Yorkshire garden designer, with ornate box-edged
    beds of vegetables, cottage flowers and herbs.

The plays have been selected from across the genres, offering something for everyone, and will be performed in repertory by two companies of actors from 25th June until 1st September.

Full details of the creative team and cast for the 2019 season of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre will be announced in due course.

The inaugural season of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre , which ran from June to September 2018, received nationwide acclaim from both theatre critics and audiences, and has been nominated for two awards: the York Culture Awards in the categories of Best Cultural Experience and Outstanding Cultural Collaboration; and the Minster FM Listener Awards.


Read the full press release here.