It’s bonkers, brilliant, and nearly finished.

Thanks to 11,000 man hours and 70 tonnes of building materials, York’s new theatre is nearly finished. And work only began a couple of weeks ago.

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre is taking shape next to Clifford’s Tower. The brainchild of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, the pop-up, open-air theatre is the only one of its kind in Europe.

Chief executive of Lunchbox James Cundall said they were a day ahead of schedule.

Soon two companies of actors – one from Yorkshire and another from London – would move in for the final rehearsals of these four plays:

Macbeth
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Romeo And Juliet
Richard III

Thinking big

Looking down on the stage

Building work will then move on to creating the Elizabethan village and garden. Outside the theatre it will offer food, drink and free entertainment.

Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre

Castle car park

Mon Jun 25-Sun Sept 2

From £12.50

More details

In Shakespeare’s day this would have included bear baiting and cock fighting. But today it will be music and circus skills.

“One of the things as a producer is you have to try and think bigger than people expect you to,” James told YorkMix.

“So it is a bigger project than we all thought. Because there are so many different parts to it.

“It’s not just creating a venue, we’re creating four new shows with two companies, in London and York.

“We’re creating a Shakespearian village where anyone can come and watch some free entertainment. So there’s lots of things to do.”

Right in the heart of York

You can either have a seat – or be a groundling, standing close to the stage

A view of the theatre from Clifford’s Tower

He said the shows would be high quality:

A lot of the people in them have doen the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Globe, National Theatre.

So the quality is going to be good. And we’ve created a venue where they can show off to their best.