The Fortune Theatre - Elizabethan Amphitheatre
The move of the Chamberlain’s men to Bankside left the north bank of the Thames without any strong theatrical attraction, and Henslowe and Alleyn endeavoured to cater for the population of that part of the town by building the Fortune playhouse off Golding Lane in the parish of St. Giles without Cripplegate. The work, which was to cost £440, was to be finished on or before the 25th July. The actual cost worked out at slightly more at £520, and the playhouse appears to have been opened in late November 1600. The Admiral’s men occupied it until 1621 when it burnt down. The Fortune was rebuilt in 1623 but in brick and of a round shape instead of the square used in the original playhouse. The contract for the construction of the building, made by Henslowe and Alleyn with Peter Street, the carpenter who had built the Burbage's Globe theatre was as follows.
Contract dated 8 January, 1600 for the construction of the Fortune Playhouse:-
The frame of the saide howse to be sett square and to conteine ffowerscore foote of lawfull assize everye waie square wthoutt and fiftie five foote of like assize square everye waie wthin wth a good suer and stronge foundacõn of pyles brick lyme and sand bothe wthout & wthin to be wroughte one foote of assize att the leiste above the grounde And the saide fframe to conteine Three Stories in heighth The first or lower Storie to Conteine Twelve foote of lawfull assize in heighth The second Storie Eleaven foote of lawfull assize in heigth And the Third or upper Storie to conteine Nyne foote of lawfull assize in height all which Stories shall conteine Twelve foote and a halfe of lawfull assize in breadth througheoute besides a Juttey forwardes in either of the saide Twoe upper Stories of Tenne ynches of lawfull assize with ffower convenient divisions for gentlemens roomes and other sufficient and convenient divisions for Twoe pennie roomes wth necessarie Seates to be placed and sett Aswell in those roomes as througheoute all the rest of the galleries of the saide howse and wth suchelike steares Conveyances & divisions wthoute & whin as are made & Contryved in and to the late erected Plaiehowse On the Banck in the saide pishe of Ste Savio’s Called the Globe Wth a Stadge and Tyreinge howse to be made erected & settup wthin the saide fframe wth a shadowe or cover over the saide Stadge.… And wch Stadge shall conteine in length ffortie and Three foote of lawfull assize and in breadth to extende to the middle of the yarde of the saide howse The same Stadge to be paled in belowe wth good stronge and sufficyent newe oken bourdes And likewise the lower Storie of the saide fframe wth inside, and the same lower storie to be alsoe laide over and fenced wth stronge yron pykes And the saide Stadge to be in all other proporcõns Contryved and fashioned like unto the Stadge of the saide Plaie howse Called the Globe Wth convenient windowes and lightes glazed to the saide Tyreinge howse And the saide fframe Stadge and Stearecases to be covered wth Tyle and to have a sufficient gutter of lead to Carrie & convey the water frome the Coveringe of the saide Stadge to fall backwardes And also all the saide fframe and the Stairecases thereof to be sufficyently enclosed wthoute wth lathe lyme & haire and the gentlemens roomes and Twoe pennie roomes to be seeled wth lathe lyme & haire and all the fflowers of the saide Galleries Stories and Stadge to be bourded wth good & sufficyent newe deale bourdes of the whole thicknes wheare need shalbe and the saide howse and other thinges beforemencõed to be made & doen To be in all other Contrivitions Conveyances fashions thinge and thinges effected finished and doen accordinge to the manner and fashion of the saide howse Called the Globe Saveinge only that all the princypall and maine postes of the saide fframe and Stadge forwarde shalbe square and wroughte palasterwise wth carved proporcõns Called Satiers to be placed & sett on the Topp of every of the same postes.