24th May, 2022 / 19:30
1st March, 2014
Walk Guide: Tamara Atkin, Queen Mary University London
Actor: Milly Thomas (student at the Central School of Speech and Drama) Milly will be joining us and animating the sites we’ll visit through a series of speeches chosen from plays and poems that would have originally been performed and read in and around the area.
Duration: about an hour and a half
Think of Whitechapel and whatever you think of you probably don’t think of the theatre. But in 1567, Whitechapel was the location of London’s first purpose-built theatre, the Red Lion.
Ten years later, around the corner in Shoreditch a new theatre, The Theatre, had opened and the area continued to thrive as a centre for theatrical activity.
On this walking tour we’ll visit the sites of some of Elizabethan and Jacobean London’s most important theatres in east London: the recently rediscovered Curtain, where Henry V was first performed; The Fortune, for which the original dimensions still survive; and The Red Bull, notorious for attracting rowdy and occasionally criminally violent audiences.
Today, with its clubs and pubs, galleries and shops, east London remains a centre for entertainment and this walking tour will seek out its origins as a place of play.
Please note: the walk will finish by St. James’s Church in Clerkenwell.
Image Credit: Detail from ‘The View of the Cittye of London from the North towards the Sowth’ from Abraham Booth’s manuscript journal of 1628-29 showing possible view of the Curtain (with the flag flying high!)