Vere Street Theatre

Definition

Theater

  • A former London theater in Clare Market, close to Lincoln'sInn Fields. During the Puritan Interregnum William Davenantused this former tennis court to present what he termed "musicand instruction", thereby evading the law forbidding stage performances.In 1652 a group of actors who performed there were betrayed to theauthorities by an unknown person whom a contemporary named an illBeest.

    On the Restoration of the monarchy (1660) Thomas Killigrewreopened the Vere Street with Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part I.That same year Margaret Hughes became the first professional actressto appear on the English stage when she played Desdemona there inThe Moor of Venice, Killigrew's adaptation of Othello.Killigrew remained at the Vere Street for three years before movingto his new theater at Drury Lane. Owing to new regulationsthat gave the patent theaters a virtual monopoly in the Cityof London, his successor, George Jolly was obliged to run the theateras an acting school, or nursery. In 1675 the building becamea Nonconformist meeting-house, and in 1809 it burned down.

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