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More than 400 years ago, the first audiences for Shakespeare's plays enjoyed an experience that was as intimate as it was exciting, crowded in close to the actors and the action, in a small theatre in the bustling city of London. In Shakespeare's Rose Theatre an experience every bit as exciting, intimate and immersive will be offered to today's audiences in a dramatic playhouse setting beside the iconic 13th century Clifford's Tower in the heart of the historic city of York. Inspired by the famous London Rose Playhouse built in 1587 (12 years prior to The Globe), the theatre will combine state-of-the-art scaffolding technology, corrugated iron and timber with the historic 13-sided design of a 16th century Shakespearean theatre. It will house an audience of 950, with 600 seated on three tiered balconies around an open-roofed courtyard, and standing room for 350 ?groundlings'. Shakespeare's Rose Theatre will sit within a Shakespearean village showcasing the best of Yorkshire's food and drink, with free wagon performances, an Elizabethan Garden and other forms of Elizabethan entertainment vying for attention. The theatre will offer Educational workshops and talks, as well as screening silent Shakespeare films. Traditional in conception, yet fresh and fun in delivery, Romeo and Juliet and Richard III will be directed by the West End's renowned Lindsay Posner, while York Theatre Royal's Olivier Award-winning Artistic Director Damian Cruden and Associate Director Juliet Forster will be putting their stamp on Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream.