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Exciting update on King’s Lynn’s Guildhall theatre expected in new year after remarkable discovery

More than two months have passed since the remarkable discovery of floorboards Shakespeare may have trodden on at a town theatre – and exciting updates are expected in the next few months.

The nearly 600-year-old oak floorboards were uncovered in early October at St George’s Guildhall in Lynn, England's largest medieval guildhall, in what was described as an “extraordinarily rare” find.

The Grade I listed building is the only working theatre in the world that can claim William Shakespeare himself performed there.

The major discovery was made at St George's Guildhall in Lynn
The major discovery was made at St George's Guildhall in Lynn

Archaeological work had been taking place at the site for the two months prior to that, which revealed the original floor hidden “in plain sight” beneath a 1960s and 1950s floors – as well as flooring believed to be from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The project team at the Guildhall has been working out a plan to incorporate this discovery into the major refurbishment currently being completed at the site.

Now, West Norfolk Council has confirmed that the latest design work could be shared early in the new year.

A spokesperson said: “The discovery of the floorboards and confirmation of what they were was such an exciting part of the wider project.

“Since the news of the initial discovery went all over the world, the boards have subsequently appeared on BBC One’s flagship One Show and Time Team.

“We are continuing to work hard behind the scenes, and early in the new year we hope to be able to share the latest concept designs.

“We will give people a chance to see the designs, ask questions and provide any feedback or comments they may have.”

A note in the corporation of Lynn’s account book shows Shakespeare's company was paid by the corporation to perform there. This is not the only link to the famous playwright.

Robert Armin, who was Shakespeare's leading comic actor and played comedy parts such as the Porter in Macbeth, the Gravedigger in Hamlet, Feste in Twelfth Night, and the Fool in King Lear, was born in the town, one street away from the theatre.

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