Red Bull Theatre

Definition

Theater

  • A London courtyard theater established on the premises of theRed Bull Inn, Clerkenwell. The galleried inn had occasionally presentedplays in its large square yard before 1605, when Aaron Holland convertedthe space into a permanent theater and Queen Anne's Men movedin for an 11-year residency. Although in its heyday it promoted theworks of Thomas Heywood and saw the acting of ChristopherBeeston, the Red Bull later acquired a somewhat disreputablereputation because of its rowdy audiences and its propensity for stagingsensational plays. After Queen Anne's Men left, the Red Bull broughtin several other companies and underwent major renovation in 1625,apparently adding a roof. During the Puritan Interregnum(1642 - 60), it drew crowds to illegal productions; Robert Coxwas imprisoned after performing a comic droll there in 1653.After the Restoration Thomas Killigrew brought a companythere that featured the actor Michael Mohun. Killigrew's later decisionto leave with some of the best actors proved a serious blow. SamuelPepys recorded watching a dismal play at the Red Bull on 23 March1661. Audiences declined and the theater was demolished in 1665.
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