Building a new Jacobean Theatre

Posted on 7 October 2012

Ollie Jones has been gathering evidence to build a new Jacobean theatre on London’s Bankside.

07-10-2012 Jacobean theatre

For the past year, a team of researchers, architects and master craftsmen have been looking for evidence to inform the construction of a new indoor Shakespearean theatre next door to the Globe on Bankside. When plans for a theatre thought to be by Inigo Jones were proved to date instead from the early 1660s, researchers turned to archaeological and historical evidence from the turn of the 17th century for inspiration for the new playhouse.

Postdoctoral research Ollie Jones from the Department has spent the past year combing the country for examples of Jacobean buildings and architecture showing the kind of design and materials that might have been found in one of the London indoor theatres such as the Blackfriars or Cockpit. Two local sites, Burton Agnes near Driffield and St John the Evangelist, Leeds, have offered architectural inspiration for the new theatre, and building accounts for Whitehall and Hatfield House have helped develop a picture of the craftsmanship behind Jacobean building.

Research continues into the decoration and stage machinery of the playhouse, whose construction is due to start in the New Year.

Ollie has recently published two articles on the decoration and stage machinery of the indoor playhouse, ‘A Feast for the Senses’ and ‘Let a Chair Come Down’, which can be found in the most recent two editions of the Globe’s journal, Around the Globe.

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Useful links:

Globe Indoor Jacobean Theatre homepage

Indoor Jacobean Theatre blog