Image: Courtesy of Cain International
Rupert Hohwieler 19/04/23
William Shakespeare is getting his own museum.
Imagine the size of his ego if he was still around eh?
His new museum, officially titled ‘The Museum of Shakespeare’ is set to open in spring next year and is being built on what is still left of the Curtain Playhouse, an ancient theatre in Shoreditch that was first rediscovered in 2011. Although Shakespeare’s Globe is the one that gets all the bard associations, his career trajectory to becoming the world’s most famous playwright actually began here – where Romeo & Juliet and Henry IV Part I and Part II were performed – before he relocated to the more well-known bankside venue once that was ready for action (circa 1599).
Image: Museum of London Archeology
The museum itself is a joint project between the Museum of London Archeology (who dug up the site), Historic England, and multi-sensory experience wizards Bompas & Parr. Together, the three are planning to transport you to the year 1598 and then follow that up by giving you a realistic impression of ‘the sights, smells and sounds’ of quintessential Elizabethan life from that period. How will they go about doing that, you ask? Not with magic, sadly, but with AI technology (of course) which – via projections – will allow you to tread the stage where Shakespeare’s company, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, would deliver his iconic lines and whip audiences into a frenzy.
Beyond the immersive aspect, this is also the first time the public will get a peek at the site since the MOLA finished excavating it back in 2016. So on that note… the museum will feature all sorts of historically significant bits and bobs (artefacts, in archaeology speak) that were found during the process – money boxes (that were used to collect entry fees), tobacco pipes, and other objects used by the actors themselves. A bit of a treasure chest for Shakespeare memorabilia. As a whole, the Museum of Shakespeare will act as part of The Stage; a new 400,000sq ft public space with offices, housing, leisure areas and a roof terrace.
No doubt the latter will be a scene-stealer…
NOTE: The Museum of Shakespeare will be opening in Spring 2024. For further updates you can keep an eye on the Bompas & Parr website right here.
Love a good artefact? Check out the best museums in London
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