Shakespeare in the car park: More details emerge

Shakespeare will be taking up a chunk of York Castle Car Park next year. Photograph: Wikipedia / Bing Maps
22 Aug 2017 @ 7.21 pm
| Entertainment, News

Tickets will start at £12.50, there will be a ‘taste village’ serving food and drink and it could boost York’s economy by £7 million.

Those are some of the new details that have emerged about the plan to bring a pop-up Shakespeare theatre to York Castle Car Park.

They are contained in a report (PDF) going before City of York Council’s executive committee meeting on August 31.

Remarkable theatre experience

How it could look: an artist’s impression of the Rose replica next to Clifford’s Tower. Image: Lunchbox Productions

As we reported earlier this month, plans are afoot to build a replica of a Shakespearian-era theatre in the car park.

Modelled loosely on a combination of the Rose Theatre and the Globe Theatre – built in 1587 and 1599 respectively – it would stage a ten-week series of the Bard’s place from June 2018.

The idea of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, which is based in Welburn north of York, the

12-sided, three-storey building will create a remarkable theatre experience for approximately 950 people including a standing audience of 300 who will enjoy a high level of involvement in the show.

Other details in the council report include…

  • the theatre will take 135 of the 318 car parking spaces available
  • the theatre company will reimburse the council £197,308 to make up for lost revenue
  • 140 shows will be staged during the 10-week season
  • 100,000 people will be able to enjoy Shakespeare in the temporary theatre.

The council says cars unable to park at Castle could instead use St George’s Field car park, while the council is considering extending the opening of Piccadilly car park into the evening to cater for theatregoers.

‘Huge boost’ for Castle Gateway

Shakespeare’s Globe in London

Around the theatre there will be a ‘taste village’ showcasing local food and drinks, as well as an area for free wagon performances.

The four plays – Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Richard III and A Midsummer Night’s Dream – will “be produced by esteemed UK directors, including potentially a production by York Theatre Royal,” the report states.

Young audiences will be encouraged. It is hoped 20,000 tickets will go to students, while

all schools will be contacted and they will be offered curriculum material as well as pre-show talks with cast and creatives. Morning workshops will be offered for younger children.

Leader of the council David Carr said: “We are determined to revitalise the Castle Gateway area. This temporary theatre will give a huge boost to unlocking the tremendous potential of this part of the city.”

If approved at the council meeting, the proposal is still subject to planning permission.