Curtain Road EC (GB)

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Curtain Road is located in the Shoreditch area of London. Formerly called Holywell Street. In this street (the site of the Curtain Theatre, said to have been the oldest building erected for scenic exhibitions in London) , lived and died Richard Burbage, the fellow-actor and friend of Shakespeare. (Reference: Jesse's London, vol. II, p. 418) Takes its name from one of the oldest London theatres. James Burbage began to build a theatre here in 1576, and it was opened the same year. It was called by the name of The Theatre, as it was the very first of its kind in London. Plays were at that time forbidden in the City, and the site for the theatre was consequently chosen without, but near to, the City walls, and it was easy of access from Finsbury Fields by a footpath following the course of the present Holywell Row. Later Burbage built a second playhouse, The Curtain, on or near the spot where the present St. James's Church stands. Shakespeare took part in the dramas at The Curtain. His play Romeo and Juliet is said to have been first produced at this theatre. Ref: http://www.londononline.co.uk/streetorigins/Curtain_Road/


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