Shakespeare’s Rose Playhouse is returning to York

After the amazing success of the pop up Shakespeare’s Rose Playhouse in York last year, we’re thrilled for it to return again in 2019.

This year, 4 new plays will be performed: Hamlet, The Tempest, Henry V, and Twelfth Night. This is following on from the wildly successful performances of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, and A Midsummers Night’s Dream in 2018.

Building the York Rose Playhouse

You’ll be able to find the popup Rose Theatre next to York’s iconic 13th century Clifford’s Tower right in the centre of the historic city.

Its structure is being based on the famous London Rose Playhouse. First built in 1587, 12 years before The Globe, the Rose Theatre will be a 13-sided replica of the 16th century original.

You can choose whether you’d like to be seated or get up close to the action and spending the performance in the groundlings area.

In true Elizabethan style, the audience will all be placed around an open-roofed courtyard. It’s a temporary structure open to the elements – no air conditioning or heating – you’ll get an authentic 16th century viewing experience. Dress appropriately for the day and remember no umbrellas are allowed even if the weather turns on you.

No matter where you’re standing or seated, you’ll never be more than 15m away from the action unfolding on stage.

staging at Shakespeare Rose Playhouse


The Plays

There would be no sense in building a replica of the Rose Playhouse without putting on any plays! You’ll be able to choose from 4 of the Bard’s most loved plays which will be shown between 25th June and 1st September. Performances will be at 2pm and 7:30pm.


This dark and psychological thriller is sure to be a winner. Consider what it really means to be alive with Hamlet and watch as political intrigue, tragedy, madness, desire, obsession, humour and murder all unfold on stage.

Get your tickets here

The Tempest

Strange creatures, magic and wonder will cross over the stage during The Tempest. The play is full of magical possibility, humour and enchantment.

Get your tickets here

Henry V

Henry V is one of Shakespeare’s most popular histories. Watch as the once wild and wayward young monarch comes of age and fights for his kingdom.

Get your tickets here

Twelfth Night

Mistaken identities, romantic confusion and a prank that goes just a little too far will all play out across the stage in this popular Shakespearean comedy.

Get your tickets here

Bar area at Shakespeare's rose playhouse in York

Shakespeare’s village

Not only will you get to experience theatre in true 16th century style, there will also be a Shakespearean village surrounding the theatre. Access to the village is free of charge to all, so you don’t need to be seeing a play to visit the village.

Throughout the day, there will be lots of different entertainment, recreating the Elizabethan town experience. Travelling actors would perform on farm wagons, delighting passers-by with speeches, plays, sonnets and music. You’ll also find a jester juggling and making japes.

We don’t do anything in Yorkshire without thinking about filling our bellies! In the village, there will be a range of different Yorkshire food and drink providers selling delicious foods and ice creams. There is also a fully-licensed bar located in oak-framed, reed-thatched buildings.

If all the fun gets too much, you’re also able to go and relax in the Elizabethan garden.

Learn a little more

There will be information boards surrounding the village giving you more detail about 13th century York. Find out more about Clifford’s tower and the Castle Museum, the ancient Eye of York, the female prison, and the ‘drop’ where criminals were hanged.

The popup recreation of the Rose Playhouse is going to be incredible. If you’re in York between June and September, you really won’t want to miss out on this chance to see Shakespeare’s finest plays in a new way.