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Pop-up Shakespeare theatre opens in York

Cast members Maria Grey and Leandra Ashton, archbishop of York John Sentamu, producer James Cundall and cast member Richard Standing at the opening on the pop-up Rose Theatre in York. Photo: Anthony Robling Cast members Maria Grey and Leandra Ashton, archbishop of York John Sentamu, producer James Cundall and cast member Richard Standing at the opening on the pop-up Rose Theatre in York. Photo: Anthony Robling
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A pop-up Shakespeare theatre has officially opened in York city centre.

The Rose Theatre, created by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, is Europe’s first full-scale, pop-up replica of a traditional Shakespearean theatre.

An opening ceremony took place on June 25, during which the archbishop of York, John Sentamu, watched part of the final rehearsals for Macbeth before blessing the theatre and the actors.

Sentamu also recited two Shakespeare speeches from memory.

Street food was served from Elizabethan-themed cabins, while garden designer Sally Tierney unveiled a Romeo and Juliet-themed garden.

Located behind York’s Clifford Tower, the theatre houses 950, with 600 seated on three tiered balconies around an open-roofed courtyard and standing room for 350 groundlings.

Chief executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions James Cundall said: “It is utterly joyful that the artist’s impression we created a year ago actually is now reality.

“We have created, in a car park in York, a true Elizabethan theatre and village that will hopefully surprise and entertain many thousands of people.”

He added: “As a producer I take the privilege and responsibility of creating an international project in my home city very seriously and look forward to welcoming people to four wonderful shows in this unique venue.”

Four Shakespeare productions, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard III, will run in repertory until September.

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