The Theatre of Two Times

Szkoła Fechtunku- ok. 1660- rycina Petera Willera-300Exhibition "The Theatre of Two Times"

An extraordinary history of Elizabethan-style Polish playhouse in Gdansk as part of King's College London's Arts and Humanities Festival 2012

The Theatre of Two Times exhibition charts the extraordinary history of an Elizabethan-style Polish playhouse from its beginnings in 17th century Gdansk to today. The visitors will embark on a journey through time and witness the transformation of the Gdansk 'Fencing School' where English travelling troupes staged early modern English drama, into its 21st century modern reconstruction, the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre. The project's patron, HRH The Prince of Wales has pledged to grace the grand opening planned for July 2014 with his presence.

In 2010 the archaeological works had ended, the design work was finished and in March 2011 the construction has began. The project engages with the past and looks into the future with its remarkable design by Italian architect Renato Rizzi (University of Venezia). Rizzi designed a multifunctional building, alluding to the Elizabethan theatre tradition but also creating a contemporary centre for culture in Gdansk, a bridge closely connecting history and modern times. Within the new walls, The Gdansk Shakespear Theatre hopes to cultivate the tradition of openness to all forms of theatre but also other forms of culture from around the world.

The exhibition is presented by the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre and the London Shakespeare Centre in association with the Polish Cultural Institute as part of King's College London's Arts and Humanities Festival 2012, 'Metamorphoses: Transformations and Conversions in the Arts and Humanities'.

In addition, the London Shakespeare Centre organises a discussion panel entitled The Theatre of Two Times: Early modern theatre modern reconstructions (13 October, 2pm, King's College London, Strand Campus, Council Room). The Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre exhibition has great resonance for King's College London in the context of the current research project, Engineering Spectacle: Inigo Jones Past & Present Performance at Somerset House and led by Professor Alan Read. It chimes with early modern reconstructions in London like the Globe Theatre or the recent Indoor Jacobean Theatre to be opened in 2013. The London Shakespeare Centre is hosting a discussion panel with the participation of Shakespeare's Globe and Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre to consider the challenges such projects present. Professor Renato Rizzi of University of Venezia who designed the project will be also taking part in the debate.

The speakers include:

Professor Renato Rizzi (University of Venezia)

Professor Jerzy Limon (University of Gdansk, Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre, Theatrum Gedanense Foundation)

Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Shakespeare's Globe)

Ollie Jones (Shakespeare's Globe Indoor Jacobean Theatre Research Associate)

Professor Ann Thompson (King's College London)

Professor Gordon McMullan (King's College London)

Dr Sonia Massai (King's College London)


Press contact: Karolina Kolodziej, Head of PR, Polish Cultural Institute,

T: +44 (0) 203 206 20024, Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie w przeglądarce obsługi JavaScript.

Listings information:


15-27 October, 1pm - 7pm (Monday to Saturday) Inigo Rooms
, Somerset House East Wing 
London WC2R 1LA, 

Panel Discussion:

13 October, 2-4pm
, Council Room, 
King's College London
, FREE but booking essential,

Notes to Editors:

The exhibition will travel to Berlin, Chicago and several cities in Poland.

The exhibition is presented in association with the Polish Cultural Institute in London.

For further information about the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre, visit their website

The exhibition will be accompanied by several guided tours taking place across the two weeks of the Arts & Humanities Festival 2012 Metamorphoses: Transformations and Conversions in the Arts and Humanities The Arts & Humanities Festival 2012 will explore the theme of Metamorphoses: Transformations and Conversions in the Arts & Humanities across an immense time-span, from antiquity to the present.

October 2012 marks the 1700th anniversary of a momentous transformation that changed the course of history, when the Roman Emperor Constantine I was said to have converted to Christianity at the Battle of Milvian Bridge.

Besides touching on religious themes of conversion and transfiguration, the 2012 Arts & Humanities Festival will also mark a more tangible conversion: the College's renovation of the East Wing of Somerset House, including its magnificent new cultural spaces of the Inigo Rooms, where some of the events will take place.