Internet Shakespeare Editions


The City and the theaters: continued. . .

A view (1616) by Visscher of the playhouses on the south bank of the Thames, opposite the city.
From Shakespeare's England.

As a result of the scandal about the Isle of Dogs, the Lord Mayor of London petitioned the Privy Council to suppress stage plays.The Privy Council assented, and also ordered the dismantling of the playhouses, specifically naming the Curtain and the Theatre. Shakespeare's company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, desperately needed to find a new location.

In fact, no action was taken against the theaters, but by late 1598 the lease at the Theatre had run out, leaving the Lord Chamberlain's Men without a place to perform. However, the terms of the lease stated that the playhouse itself--the building--belonged to the Burbages if it was removed before the expiry of the lease. On 28 December 1598, they dismantled the building, carted the timbers across the Thames, and used them to build the new theater, called the Globe. The Globe opened in 1599.