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Last updated at 15:24 BST, Friday, 08 June 2012

Shakespeare’s ‘The Curtain’ uncovered

Summary

8 June 2012

Archaeologists in London say they've discovered the remains of an old Elizabethan theatre in which some of Shakespeare's early plays were seen. 'The Curtain' was probably only the second purpose-built theatre in England.

Reporter:

Vincent Dowd

Globe theatre actors

Actors rehearse at the Globe Theatre in Central London.

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Report

‘The Curtain’ theatre opened in 1577, a year after 'The Theatre' nearby. Most experts reckon that was the first dedicated theatre-building in England – earlier performances had been in tavern-yards or at court.

The approximate location of The Curtain was already known, but now experts at the Museum of London say they've identified remarkably intact elements of walling and the yard where poorer theatre-goers stood. The developers who own the site say they plan to incorporate the theatre's remains into their project.

The best-known Shakespearean theatre in London is the Globe - although that's a modern reconstruction, a short distance from the original site.

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Vocabulary

dedicated

designed for a particular function

performances

public shows

tavern-yards

the area of ground behind a pub

court

the home of an important person, often royalty

approximate

rough, near

intact

untouched, entire

walling

upright side structure

poorer theatre-goers

people lacking wealth who attended the theatre

incorporate

combine, unite

reconstruction

remake, re-creation

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