New interactive Shakespeare museum coming to East London

A new museum is set to open in East London in Spring 2024, allowing visitors to experience the life and times of William Shakespeare.

The Museum of Shakespeare promises to offer an immersive and interactive experience, located within the archaeological remains of famous The Curtain Playhouse in Shoreditch.

The Curtain Playhouse, once a bustling hub of culture and social gathering during Shakespeare’s era, was the venue for some of Shakespeare’s most iconic plays including Henry V and Romeo and Juliet.

Following an extensive archaeological excavation from 2011 to 2016, the remains of this historical site will be made accessible to the public for the first time through the Museum of Shakespeare.

Designed in collaboration with creative studio Bompas & Parr, plus Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) and Historic England, the project is completely redeveloping the 2.3-acre East London site – which will also include 412 apartments, offices, and shops.

Delving deep into the cultural tapestry of 16th-century London, this permanent exhibition aims to shed light on the extraordinary life and inspirations of the legendary playwright, and recreate some of the sights, sounds, smells, and vibrant personalities of the time! Interactive displays, workshops, and a projected reconstruction of the playhouse will guide visitors through Shakespeare’s world.

Heather Knight, senior archaeologist at Museum of London Archaeology, said: “Leading the excavations on the site of the Curtain, one of London’s earliest and longest-lived playhouses that have transformed our understanding of early modern performance, has been an immense privilege and I am very much looking forward to the next chapter in the history of the Curtain.”

Dr. Callan Davies of the University of Roehampton, and author of What is a Playhouse?, said: “It’s fantastic that Elizabethan London’s longest-lived playhouse, which has so many stories to tell about creativity and opportunity, can adapt once more to show how performance worked, why it mattered, and why it still does today.”

Other ways to experience Shakespeare’s London include Shakespeare’s Globe on the Southbank, which is a recreation of the Elizabethan Globe Theatre, and presents year-round productions of Shakespeare’s work.

📷 Main photo: Museum of Shakespeare - artists impression Photo by Cain International

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