Alas, a dispute with the landlord in 1596—Brayne seemed to fight a lot with his business partners and contractors—led to The Theatre being dismantled; its timbers were repurposed to build the Globe Theatre. In the interim, the Lord Chamberlain's Men moved their performances to the Curtain Theatre, constructed in 1577, just one year after The Theatre. Romeo and Juliet and Henry IV Part I and Part II were staged at the Curtain, and Shakespeare performed there in a 1598 production of Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humour. The troupe moved to the Globe once it was completed in 1599.
Early last year, the UCL archaeologists were excavating a site at Stepney Way in Whitechapel and uncovered the remains of a rectangular structure whose dimensions matched those of the Red Lion, as outlined in the known court cases. There were postholes around the timber structure, corresponding with galleried seating.
They also found evidence of what were likely beer cellars, including beakers, drinking glasses, and tankards. According to the team's historic buildings specialist, Michael Shapland, "Tudor period inns needed somewhere cool and secure to store their drink, as beer would have gone off much more rapidly than it does today." The playhouse may have been repurposed as a dog-baiting pit in the 17th century, the researchers surmise, since they also found at the site the remains of dogs whose teeth had been filed down.
"It is not what I was expecting when I turned up to do an excavation in Whitechapel, I have to be honest," said lead archaeologist Stephen White, from UCL Archaeology South-East. "This is one of the most extraordinary sites I've worked on. The strength of the combined evidence—archaeological remains of buildings in the right location of the right period, seem to match up with characteristics of the playhouse recorded in early documents."