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Red Bull Theatre

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Important events

(detail)00. 's 17. century | opening


This theatre was built about 1600 in Upper Street off St. John Street, Clerkenwell. It was occupied by Queen Anne's Men until 1616, and then by other companies. It was renovated and partly rebuilt in 1625 and may have been roofed in. It appears to have been what was later known in theatrical circles as a 'blood tub' , specializing in hot and strong dramas, with plenty of devils and red fire. When the theatres were closed under the Commonwealth, sur¬reptitious shows and puppet-plays were sometimes given at the Red Bull, and at the Restoration a company under Michael Mohun acted there before moving to the renovated Cockpit. Killigrew was also there before he went to Vere Street, taking with him some of the best remaining actors in the Red Bull company. On 23 Mar. 1661 Pepys saw those who remained behind in a very poor production of Rowley's All's Lost by Lust. The theatre fell into disuse soon afterwards, but was still standing in 1663. By 1665 it had vanished.


In: Hartnoll, Phyllis, ed. The concise Oxford companion to the theatre. 1st ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.   ISBN 0-19-281102-9. p. 446




Author: Hartnoll Phyllis

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