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The British Museum (in collaboration of with the Royal Shakespeare Company)
The British Museum
Reading Room, Great Russell Street
London
£ 14
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The exhibition provides a new and unique insight into the emerging role of London as a world city four hundred years ago, seen from the perspective of Shakespeare’s plays. The show features over 190 objects. One of the key innovations of the period was the birth of the modern professional theatre: purpose-built playhouses and professional playwrights were a new phenomenon, with the most successful company being the Chamberlain's/King's Men at the Globe who worked alongside their house dramatist, William Shakespeare. The exhibition shows how the playhouse informed, persuaded and provoked thought on the issues of the day; how it shaped national identity, first English, then British; and how the theatre opened a window on the wider world, from Italy to Africa to America, as London's global contacts were expanding through international trade, colonisation and diplomacy.