The Rose Theatre Exhibition

Bankside's first purpose-built playhouse, where William Shakespeare learnt his craft and for which Christopher Marlowe wrote his best plays.

The Rose was an Elizabethan theatre built in 1587 by Philip Henslowe on Bankside — an area already rich in other 'leisure attractions' such as brothels, gaming dens and bull/bear-baiting arenas. Although the opening of the Globe in 1599 signalled the Rose Theatre's demise, it remains London's most historic theatre, the first Elizabethan theatre on Bankside and home to many of William Shakespeare's and Christopher Marlowe's first productions.

It's well-preserved archaeology was discovered in 1989 during exploratory excavation for an office block. At present two-thirds of the original foundations have been excavated, and there are plans to make the site a permanent display as a public educational and historical resource.

In 2007, part of The Rose was opened as a performance space with actors performing plays contemporaneous with the original theatre although productions of more modern plays are also featured. The Rose also holds workshops, tours and has free open days throughout the year.

The Rose Theatre Exhibition is just a stone's throw from Shakespeare's Globe.

Museum Video

Museum Facilities


Audio Guide

Wheelchair Access


Tour Guide




Venue Hire

All information is drawn from or provided by the museums themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.