Fortune Playhouse

Fortune Playhouse

Fortune Playhouse

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The Fortune Playhouse was an historic theatre in London. It was located between Whitecross Street and the modern Golden Lane, just outside the City of London. It was founded about 1600, and suppressed by the Puritan Parliament in 1642.



The Fortune Theatre was contemporary with Shakespeare's Globe, The Swan and others; it stood in the parish of St Giles-without-Cripplegate, to the west of the Shoreditch locations of The Theatre and the Curtain Theatre, between Whitecross Street and Golden Lane in what is today named Fortune Street, just outside the City of London. Between 1600 and 1642, it was among the chief venues for drama in London.

The Fortune was erected as the second half of a substantial realignment of London's chief acting companies. In 1597, the Lord Chamberlain's Men had left, or rather been ejected, from The Theatre; they abandoned Shoreditch and in 1599 constructed a new theatre, the Globe, in Southwark. The Admiral's Men, then playing in the nearby and aging Rose Theatre, suddenly faced stiff competition for Bankside audiences.

At this point, the Admiral's manager Philip Henslowe and his stepson-in-law, the leading actor Edward Alleyn, made plans to move to Shoreditch; Alleyn appears to have funded the new theatre, later selling half-interest to his father-in-law. They paid £240 for a thirty-year lease on a plot of land between tenements on Golding and Whitecross Lane. They hired Peter Street, who had just finished building the Globe, to make...
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