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Courtyard
The Courtyard Theatre Hoxton
40 Pitfield St
London
N1 6EU
08444 771 000
tickets@thecourtyard.org.uk
www.ticketweb.co.uk
Nearest Tube/Train Station:
Old Street
SNACKS BAR
 
Courtyard History

The new Courtyard Theatre has been created within a Grade II listed building, the former public library in Pitfield Street, Hoxton. Interestingly, this is only a few hundred metres from the site of the first purpose-built playhouses in England, the Theatre (1576) and the Curtain (1577), the latter still commemorated in the name of Curtain Road. These, like the later playhouses on the south bank of the Thames, were built just outside the City of London to avoid coming under the jurisdiction of the city fathers.

The Passmore Edwards Free Library, as it was originally known, was opened in 1897. Often described as the “Cornish Carnegie”, John Passmore Edwards was a Victorian politician and philanthropist, and life-long champion of the working classes; this magnificent library was one of over 70 major buildings across the country – including hospitals, libraries, schools and art galleries – which he helped to fund. The building became redundant when Hackney Council opened a new central library in Hoxton Street; it was used for a time by English National Opera for rehearsals and workshops, but has now been refurbished to provide (in addition to residential accommodation on the upper floors) perform-ance spaces and rehearsal studios for the Courtyard Theatre.

An exhibition about the history of the Library and the Pitfield Street area has been created by Michael Sargent (director of Centurion Theatre Company and a trustee of the Courtyard) and is displayed on the lower ground floor outside the Studio Theatre.

 

Courtyard
Nearest Tube/Train Station:
Old Street
click here for a big map


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