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London’s first theater excavated

Excavations of the site of London’s first theatre, where the plays of William Shakespeare were performed, has been excavated, revealing a section of outerwall and floor surface.

Archaeologists who have been digging here since 2008 have uncovered a section of outer wall and floor surface from the building, completed in 1576 and known simply as The Theatre — whose timbers were later used to build The Globe theater.

Now a London drama troupe plans to erect a new building on the site, bringing live performances back to the spot where Elizabethan drama flourished more than 400 years ago.

This week actor Paul McGann stood amid the dirt and bricks and recited the prologue to “Romeo and Juliet” — a play historians believe had its premiere on this site and in which Shakespeare may have taken a small acting role.

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