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Elizabethan Theatre

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The first London playhouse (theatre) ever built in 1576. It was called The Theatre. In 1587 the Rose Theatre was built amongst the prisons and brothels in Bankside. In 1595, the Swan Theatre was built. All theatres were built outside the city limits so they did not have to follow city regulations.

The plays were put on by theatre companies. By law, each company had to have a patron, a rich person to financially support it. Each company was named after their patron, e.g. the Earl of Leicester supported Leicester's Men. Shakespeare was with a company called Chaimberlain's Men. It was supported by Lord Chaimberlain. When James I became king, he wanted to become the patron of a company. He took over supporting Chaimberlain's Men.They then became the King's Men.

Anybody could go to the Theatre.. The cheapest tickets cost only 1 penny and the most expesive tickets were sixpence. The most expensive tickets were bought by nobles and the rich. Because there were so many people crowded together, theatres were popular places for pickpockets and theives. Also, people were not as polite as they are today,often shouting rude comments, throwing food and climbing onto stage to join in with sword fights.

 

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