Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre set to return to York for the next two years

Shakespeare's Rose Theatre last summer blocked the sight of the Castle Museum. Photograph: Anthony Robling
1 Oct 2018 @ 8.40 pm
| Entertainment

After a glorious summer under the sun of York, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre bid adieu last month.

But it looks set to return for the next two years at least.

Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, who brought the pop-up 16th-century style theatre to Castle Car Park, have applied for permission to build it again in 2019 and 2020.

They say in an application to City of York Council:

  • Following the outstanding success of the inaugural season of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, which saw nearly 80,000 people attend four different plays and an additional 20,000 people attend the Taste Village, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions are seeking planning permission for the next two years.

Expecting 90K theatregoers

Inside the Rose
Each year they plan 134 performances inside the venue which holds up to 950 people.

The maximum capacity across the season would be 127,000 people. But they are estimating somewhere between 75,000 and 90,000 people watching the shows next year.

Another popular feature, the outdoor Elizabethan ‘village’ would also return.

It would include five food and drink outlets, a performance space and a VIP area.

Projected dates


  • Theatre built between May 27 and June 24
  • Performances from June 25 to Sept 1
  • Theatre removed between Sept 2 and 16

  • Theatre built between May 25 and June 22
  • Performances from June 23 to Aug 30
  • Theatre removed between Aug 31 and Sept 13

Wider city benefits

The theatre from the air. Photograph: Matthew King
Organisers hope to replicate the parking arrangements too. That would see the Piccadilly car park operate with extended hours as a “venue specific car park”.

They state: “There remained within the city centre enough parking on additional sites to more than make up for the reduction in spaces at Castle car park.”

The planning statement says the theatre brought benefits to the wider city in 2018:

  • With both York Dungeons and Clifford’s Tower reporting higher than anticipated visitor numbers it is apparent that our good neighbour policy has been effective in directing our patrons to additional local attractions.

    In addition, we understand that Fenwick department store enjoyed a higher footfall due to our presence. There has also been a wealth of support among both the council and the public for a return of the venue.