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Shakespeare’s Rivals exhibition at the Globe

Leigh Hatts

The entrance to the special exhibition Shakespeare's Rivals underneath Shakespeare's Globe is by way of a reproduction triumphal archway.

When James I came to the throne he was welcomed to the City of London by being invited to walk through a series of archways and watch specially written masques.

The chief actor was Edward Alleyn who between performances had to run down a side ally to be ready to greet the new King at the next achway. Alleyn features in this exhibition jointly staged by Dulwich College which was founded by Alleyn.

Here are the contracts for the Rose, Fortune and Hope theatres on Bankside. There is even a cue sheet of 1598 and an eye witness account of a playgoer who died when a cannon was fired during Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great.

The description of bear baiting in Bear Gardens is graphic and disturbing.

This additional exhibition alongside the permanent exhibits makes this summer a good time to visit.

• Shakespeare's Rivals runs until Sunday 12 October at Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition, Bankside. Open daily 9am-5pm; admission 6.50 (child 5.30)

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