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Oh, but I would have dearly loved to be in London last Thursday, and to attend A Tale of Two Roses, Frank Whately’s talk about the Rose Playhouse, Ned Alleyn and Christopher Marlowe…

I only found out about it this morning, via Twitter and the Marlowe Society – and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, seeing that I am definitely not in London… but still. Besides, I’ve been wanting to visit the Rose for some time, and even went there last year – only to find it closed, and discover that it only opens on Saturdays. Ah well, next time – because I really, really want to see the place Philip Henslowe built in 1587, the first playhouse in Bankside. A sensible move, considering that Bankside was already something of an entertainment district, and conveniently out of the City bounds. In time it would become home to the Admiral’s Men, led by star tragedian Edward “Ned” Alleyn, very possibly the creator of several Marlowe roles.

Like all playhouses, the Rose didn’t survive, but its foundations were found back in the late Eighties – perhaps the single most important archeological discovery when it comes to Elizabethan theatre…

Now there are a Trust and a Foundation working hard at preserving the site, and combining archeological work with a lively range of talks, workshops, and plays. You can find about their wonderful work at the Rose Playhouse website.

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