Street food, a bar and juggling jesters – York’s Shakespeare Village unveiled

An artist's impression of the pop-up theatre and Shakespeare Village
12 Mar 2018 @ 6.57 pm
| Entertainment

With a little over 100 days to go before the first night, organisers of York’s pop-up Shakespeare theatre have revealed more details of what we can expect.

And there will be plenty to do in addition to enjoying some of the world’s greatest plays in an authentic setting.

As previously reported, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre will be built close to Clifford’s Tower.

This “will combine state-of-the-art scaffolding technology, corrugated iron and timber with the historic 13-sided design of a 16th century Shakespearean theatre,” say the people behind the project, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions.

It will house an audience of 950, with 600 seated on three tiered balconies around an open-roofed courtyard and standing room for 350 ‘groundlings’.

Tickets are now on sale.

Food, drink and flowers

A scoop for York in more ways than one. Photograph: Jéshoots on Pexels

Alongside the theatre, a Shakespeare Village will pop up on Castle car park.

Free to enter, it will include street food served by Yorkshire food vendors from a menu created by TV chef Brian Turner.

There will be locally-made ice cream and a fully licensed bar, all housed in traditional oak-framed and reed-thatched buildings.

Organisers have applied for an alcohol licence to run from noon to 9.45pm daily during the run.

And garden designer Sally Tierney will create an Elizabethan garden, with ornate box-edged beds of cottage flowers, roses and herbs.

The village will also boast its own troupe of performers. During Elizabethan times, actors would often travel the country performing plays on farm wagons.

Shakespeare’s Village will feature a regular schedule of ‘wagon entertainment’ with spectacular speeches, soulful sonnets and medieval music, as well as juggling jesters.

Auditions underway

Shakespeare will be taking up a chunk of York Castle Car Park next year. Photograph: Wikipedia / Bing Maps

Four of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays will be performed in repertory by two companies of actors during the ten-week season. Those plays are…

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Romeo And Juliet
Richard III

Auditions for the two companies of actors are currently taking place in London and York, with casting and details of the creative team to be announced next month.

And a trial build of the theatre – based on the 14-sided structure built in 1587 on the south bank of the River Thames in London – has begun in an off-site location.

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre

Castle Car Park

Mon Jun 25-Sun Sept 2 2018 @ 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Tickets start at £12.50

More details

“More than 400 years ago, the first audiences for Shakespeare’s plays enjoyed an experience that was as intimate as it was exciting, crowded in close to the actors and the action, in a small theatre in the bustling city of London,” said James Cundall, CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions.

Modern York audiences would enjoy an experience every “bit as exciting, intimate and immersive”.

“No seat in the theatre will be more than 15m from the action, providing plenty of breath-taking, spine-tingling, heart-stopping moments.

“With dramatic sword-fights, bubbling cauldrons, wayward fairies, passionate love scenes, gruesome murders, grand poetry and no shortage of fake blood, audiences will experience the comic heights and tragic depths of Shakespearean theatre in a memorable setting.”