Explore Shakespeare’s London

Apr 22 09:36 2015 Lisa Jeeves Print This Article

Arriving in London? Let your Gatwick airport taxi take you back to Shakespeare’s London and discover the English Renaissance theatre.

Most adults in the Western world have been acquainted with the poet,Guest Posting playwright and actor William Shakespeare at some point in their lifetime. Whether it's via a brief relationship at school studying one of his plays, or an on-going love affair with his poetry, it has to be said that, for most of us, reading a Shakespearean text is both a memorable and remarkable experience.

Visitors to London can explore Shakespeare’s Globe theatre to discover more about the writer, but, on a visit to the UK capital, even before you arrive at your accommodation your Gatwick airport taxi driver can introduce you to a taste of Shakespeare’s London.

Shakespeare’s London

The theatrical culture of Shakespeare’s London is an interesting topic for discussion. Shakespeare lived between 1564 and 1616 and, during this time (the Renaissance period), London’s theatrical scene was thriving. From the 1570s, people from all classes went to see plays in the theatres. The theatrical culture remained lively until 1642, when the civil war began and, unfortunately, the theatres were closed.

Hidden Gems

In Shakespeare’s London, at least 21 Shakespearean theatres were located in the city. The following locations are hidden gems that could help you discover more about Shakespeare as well as London’s Renaissance theatres. Ask your Gatwick airport taxi driver to take a route past any or all of the following places.

St Paul's (1575-1606)

St Paul’s was one of the two main sites for young male actors to perform in the 1570s and 1580s. Their high voices and pre-pubescent bodies meant that they could also play female roles, and they performed plays that were mainly written by their resident playwright, John Lyly, for elite audiences. They were in direct competition with the nearby Blackfriars theatre.

First Blackfriars (1576-84)

If your Gatwick airport taxi takes you past St Paul’s, you'll also be able to swing past London’s first Blackfriars theatre. The first Blackfriars theatre was quite small (although the second was larger) and staged plays by young male actors in the upper room of the building from 1576 until 1584.

The Four Inn Playhouses

Inn playhouses were much smaller than theatres and made for a more intimate performance. The following four inns from Shakespeare’s London are worth a visit:

The Bull Inn (1578-94) - plays were staged here from 1575 until 1594.

The Bell Inn (1576-94) - plays were staged here from 1576 until 1594.

The Bel Savage Inn (1575-94) - the earliest inn playhouse, located on Ludgate Hill.

The Cross Keys Inn (1578-94) - The last of the four inn playhouses (located on the west side of Gracechurch Street, near Bell Inn Yard). Playing started here around 1579 and continued until 1594.

Second Blackfriars (1596-1642)

The second Blackfriars theatre staged plays by young male actors from 1599. In addition, from 1609 to the closure of the theatres in 1642, the second Blackfriars was the only indoor theatre that housed Shakespeare’s acting company - The King's Men. The company performed here in the winter and outside Shakespeare’s Globe in the summer.

There really is a lot to discover about Shakespeare’s London when you visit the City, so get your Gatwick airport taxi to give you a first taste of the Renaissance and go on a Shakespearean adventure. Perhaps you could even treat yourself to watch a performance at the Globe too, which will be all the more meaningful with the background knowledge you'll gain.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Lisa Jeeves
Lisa Jeeves

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you’re looking for a Gatwick airport taxi, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don’t miss your car on your holiday abroad.

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