Shakespeare’s theatre to be built on York car park

How it could look: an artist's impression of the Shakespeare's Rose Theatre replica next to Clifford's Tower. Image: Lunchbox Productions
5 Aug 2017 @ 6.23 pm
| Entertainment

It was back in May when we first revealed it might be coming.

And now it has been confirmed that a pop-up Shakespearean theatre is heading to York.

In the first project of its kind in a European city, a recreation of the 16th century Rose Theatre, which was a forerunner to the Globe, will be built next to Clifford’s Tower.

The idea of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, which is based in Welburn north of York, the temporary construction could run a ten-week season of plays from next June.

These would include a production of Richard III, featuring York’s favourite dead king.

So not only was tricky Dicky dug up from a car park, his play is to be performed in one – as the theatre will be constructed over part of the Castle car park.

The three other plays in the season are Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet.

‘Truly excited’

Shakespeare’s Globe in London

Similar in style to the world-famous Globe on London’s South Bank, the three-tier balcony Elizabethan-style theatre would be open to the elements.

There would be enough room for almost 1,000 theatregoers in the 12-sided structure. Plans are now with City of York Council.

“As a proud Yorkshireman, I am truly excited to be creating this venue in the heart of York,” said chief executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions James Cundall.

“It’s hoped that it will excite both locals and tourists and create a new legacy for the city. “The performances will be innovative and fun and will showcase heritage theatre at its best.

This Pop-up Globe was first constructed in Auckland, New Zealand. Photograph © Yoram Inger on Wikipedia

“It is our aim to get as many children from the region to see four of Shakespeare’s greatest titles probably for the very first time.”

York’s history was an important factor in choosing the city to stage this European first, he added.

Steve Brown, MD of Make It York said: “York already has a brilliant programme of events and festivals lined up for 2018 and this adds another world class dimension.

“It will appeal to both residents and tourists from all over the world and it’s a massive coup for the city that this fabulous opportunity has been landed. I’m sure everyone will support it to the hilt.”