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Cross Keys Inn

Picture of the Cross Keys Inn Sign

Picture of the Cross Keys Inn Sign

Cross Keys InnThe Cross Keys Inn - Elizabethan Theatre

The known facts about the Cross Keys Inn, which was used as one of the venues for early English Elizabethan Theatre, are as follows:

  • London Location of the Cross Keys Inn - Gracechurch Street, London

  • Elizabethan plays were performed in the courtyards of the Cross Keys Inn - 1576 - 1594
  • William Shakespeare's acting troupe, the Chamberlain's Men, used the Cross Keys Inn theatre on a regular basis due to the restrictions played on play acting within the City of London limits
  • The Elizabethan Acting Troupes would negotiate with the owner, or vintner, of the Cross Keys Inn in order to stage a performance at the Cross Keys Inn
  • The Cobbled Courtyard of the Cross Keys Inn was the site of Elizabethan plays - a temporary stage would be erected on trestles
  • People who wanted to watch the plays at the Cross Keys Inn were charged a small fee as they entered the courtyard - they had to pay extra if they wanted a view from the balcony.
  • In 1574 the City of London started regulating the Inn-yard activities which lead to the development of the covered Playhouses and the open Amphitheatres and the ultimate replacement of the Inn-yards for venues of Elizabethan plays and theatres.

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Alchin, L.K.
Elizabethan Era
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