Addicted to novelty since 2001

Shakespeare’s Theatre Found Amongst Flurry of Confusing Headlines

Today I followed a link and found this story on the BBC website. It’s entitled “Shakespeare’s first theatre found”, and refers to the discovery of the remains of the confusingly-named Theatre, the first theatre in which Shakespeare acted and his plays were performed.

That seemed vaguely familiar to me. Scanning the article, I spotted another headline in the ‘See Also’ section of the sidebar:

BBC NEWS | UK | Shakespeare's first theatre found

That article, from last August, is called “The Bard’s ‘first theatre’ found”. That’s actually when the discovery was announced by a team from the Museum of London. You can read the original Museum of London press release, and today’s subsequent one that spawned the confusing headline. Maybe the BBC needs some kind of “check for duplicate heading” functionality in their content management system?

To make matters worse, the Daily Mail used the headline “Remains of Shakespeare’s first Globe Theatre unearthed in East London”. This is technically accurate, but deeply misleading. In 1599, the Globe Theatre was built with timber from the aforementioned Theatre. The Mail used that headline despite the discovery having been made six months ago, and the Theatre only being tangentially related to the Globe.

And, since I’m being all nitpicky, why does London Museum’s Taryn Nixon refer to The Theatre as “probably the second theatre ever built”? in the video associated with today’s article? What about all those Greek and Roman theatres? Maybe she means “the second theatre ever built in London”?

From a theatre history perspective, this is a really important find. It is, for example, almost certainly where “Romeo and Juliet” was first performed. Appropriately, the Tower Theatre Company plans to build a new theatre on the site.