Shakespeare's Rose Theatre

Following its inaugural season last year, when it played to almost 80,000 people, garnering critical and popular acclaim as well as awards for 'Best Cultural Experience' and 'Best Attraction', Shakespeare's Rose Theatre returns to York promising Revenge, Heroism, Magic and Mischief with this year's line-up of plays.

More than 400 years ago, the first audiences for Shakespeare’s plays enjoyed an experience that was as intimate as it was exciting, crowded in close to the actors and the action, in a small theatre in the bustling city of London.  In Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre an experience every bit as exciting, intimate and immersive will be offered to today’s audiences in a dramatic playhouse setting beside the iconic 13th century Clifford’s Tower in the heart of the historic city.

Inspired by the famous London Rose Playhouse built in 1587 (12 years prior to The Globe), the theatre will combine state-of-the-art scaffolding technology, corrugated iron and timber with the historic 13-sided design of an Elizabethan theatre.  It will house an audience of 900, with 560 seated on three-tiered balconies around an open-roofed courtyard, and standing room for 340 ‘groundlings’.

Outside the theatre, Shakespeare’s Village will set the scene, with free wagon performances and medieval music, a traditional Elizabethan garden with box-edged beds of cottage flowers and herbs, and the thatched ‘Bear Arms’ pub showcasing the best of Yorkshire’s food and drink.

Four of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays will be performed by two companies of actors in repertory over the 10-week summer season: Hamlet, Henry V, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.  Traditional in conception, yet fresh and fun in delivery, these enduring favourites will be directed by some of the UK’s leading theatre directors, led by Damian Cruden, Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal.

The unique environment of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre creates an extraordinary connection between actors and audience.  While an interactive experience awaits those closest to the stage in the courtyard, no seat will be more than 15m from the action, providing plenty of breath-taking, spine-tingling, heart-stopping moments!

With gruesome murders, grand poetry, otherworldly creatures and romantic confusion, audiences will experience the comic heights and tragic depths of Shakespearean theatre in a memorable setting.

Our Awards:

Best Cultural Experience - York Culture Awards 2018

Outstanding Cultural Collaboration – York Culture Awards 2018 (for our productions with York Theatre Royal - Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Best Attraction - Minster FM’s Listener Choice Awards 2018


For more information and box office details - click here!

  • Event Time: Saturday 29th June 2019, 12:00 am
  • Venue: York Castle Museum

  • Please note that by attending this event, you are agreeing to any photos and/or videos featuring you at the event can be used in future marketing material for the Students’ Union. This can include, but is not limited to, social media pages, the SU website and printed literature.

Supporting York St John students to grow, succeed, and have a great time whilst at University


Our Contacts

York St. John Students' Union
Lord Mayor's Walk
York, YO31 7EX

01904 629 816