The Rose Theatre Trust was formed during the archaeological excavation in 1989 to address fears that the new building proposed for the site would bring about the destruction of The Rose Playhouse’s remains.

A campaign to ‘Save the Rose’ was launched with enthusiastic support from the public, scholars and actors, including the dying Lord Olivier who gave his last public speech in May 1989 on behalf of The Rose. The Trust managed to secure government funds to delay construction and to bring about a re-design of the proposed new building so that only a small amount of the fabric of The Rose was lost, and a permanent enclosure of this fragile site was created.

In the years that followed the Trust has largely devoted itself to preparing to excavate the complete site and ensure the remains are put on display as a permanent resource for the public. Most recently, in collaboration with English Heritage and the Local Authority’s Archaeology Office, agreement has been reached regarding the best strategy for displaying these friable remains. The Trust is now keen to meet its prime objectives to realise The Rose’s potential for interpretation and display to the public.


The Rose Playhouse Trustees


Harvey Sheldon – Chairman of the Board

Dr Chris Constable 

Mike Corfield 

Paul Edmondson

Rt Hon Sir Simon Hughes

Peter Jolly 

Jeff Hewitt

Dr Maurice Hindle 

Anne Rowley

Tony Toller

Professor Sir Stanley Wells

Roy Stephenson,MCIfA FSA


Other Officers


Robin Roads – Honorary Treasurer

Dr Johanna Schmitz – Honorary Archivist


The Rose Playhouse Trustees – Biographies


Harvey Sheldon – Chairman of the Board

Harvey Sheldon has been engaged in archaeological projects in Southwark and other parts of London since the 1960s. He was Field Officer for the Southwark and Lambeth Archaeological Excavation Committee from 1972 to 1975 and the Museum of London’s Archaeology Officer for Greater London between 1975 and 1991.

He began teaching and organising archaeology courses in the mid-1960s, first for London University’s Department of Extra-Mural Studies and then for Birkbeck, University of London, which incorporated the Department in the mid-1980s. He is currently a Research Fellow at Birkbeck.

He has served as Chair of Rescue: the British Archaeological Trust and as President of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society and is currently Chair of the Society’s Archaeology Committee. He is also President of a number of London’s active local archaeology societies, including the Hendon and District Archaeology Society, the Enfield Archaeology Society and the West Essex Archaeological Group


Dr Chris Constable – BA, MA, Pg Dip, MCIFA, FSA

Following a BA (Hons) in Archaeology at York University, Chris gained his PhD at Durham where he also taught and worked as a Research Assistant on the Samarra Project before moving to L-P Archaeology as Archaeological Consultant.  As Senior Heritage Planner at Chris Blandford Associates he assisted with World Heritage Site documentation for Jarrow and Wearmouth Churches, the archaeology of the Mycology Building at Kew Gardens and the start of a heritage strategy for Liverpool.  His work also included environmental impact assessments. He continued as Senior Historic Buildings Officer with West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service, among other duties advising on planning applications and on urban archaeology, monitoring site work and liaising with conservation officers.  From 2006-16 at Southwark Borough Council as Senior Archaeological Officer he advised on planning and general archaeological issues including major infrastructure projects such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel, Thameslink and the rebuilding of London Bridge Station. During this period he gained his Pg Dip in Historic Environment Conservation from the Ironbridge Institute.  Chris is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists. He serves on the Council of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society.  Chris is presently the Principal Heritage Consultant at Amec Foster Wheeler Environmental & Infrastructure where he works on a variety of heritage and archaeology projects.


Mike Corfield – FSA, FIIC, ACR

After a career that started at the Ancient Monuments Laboratory of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, followed by thirteen years in Wiltshire and five at the National Museum of Wales, Mike returned to the Ancient Monuments Laboratory, now in English Heritage, in 1991 as Head of Conservation. In this role he was responsible, among other things, for monitoring the condition of The Rose Playhouse site and from this became aware of the need to get a better understanding of the relationship between the ground environment and the preservation of archaeological evidence in it, and particularly the effect of development on the quality of the evidence. Mike maintained his oversight of The Rose until his retirement in 2002 by which time he was English Heritage’s first Chief Scientist. He has also been a member of the Mary Rose Hull Advisory Panel. Since his retirement Mike has maintained his interest in The Rose, now as a Trustee; he is also a trustee of the Alderney Maritime Trust which has as its main concern the wreck of an Elizabethan shipwreck which is of the same date as The Rose. Mike has also carried out missions to India for the World Heritage Fund and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and to Iran for UNESCO.


Paul Edmondson – Head of Learning and Research, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

He is co-series editor for Palgrave Macmillan’s Shakespeare Handbooks, and co-supervisory editor of the Penguin Shakespeare (for which he has contributed to several introductions). His publications include: Twelfth Night: A Guide to the Text and Its Theatrical Life (Palgrave, 2005) and (co-authored with Stanley Wells) Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Oxford University Press, 2004). His other publications include work on Shakespeare and the Brontës, the poetry of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, theatre reviewing and the musicality of Shakespeare’s words. His co-edited volumes Shakespeare Beyond Doubt (with Stanley Wells for Cambridge University Press) and A Year of Shakespeare: Re-living the World Shakespeare Festival (with Paul Prescott and Erin Sullivan for The Arden Shakespeare) were published in April 2013. He is Chair of Hosking Houses Trust for Women Writers ( He was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 2011 and helps out at St Andrew’s Church, Shottery (near Stratford-upon-Avon). He is general editor of @paul_edmondson. Since 2003 Paul has been a Trustee of The Rose Playhouse.


Jeff Hewitt

Jeff is a Non-Executive Director and the Audit Committee Chairman of Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust and of Cenkos Securities (a stockbroker). Until recently he was Senior Independent Director and Audit Committee Chair of Vesuvius (a global specialist materials business).  Previously he was the External Chairman of the Audit & Risk Committee of the John Lewis Partnership. He also chairs the Electrocomponents Pension Trustees Board.

He has been the Chairman or NED of Regenersis, ZincOx Resources, Whatman, TDG  and several other companies. Before turning plural, Jeff was Deputy Chairman and Finance Director of Electrocomponents, Finance Director of Unitech and Strategy Director of Coats Viyella. In earlier years he was with Boston Consulting Group and Arthur Andersen. He has also served on the Government’s Industrial Advisory Development Board and on the Advisory Forum of the Said Business School, Oxford University.

Jeff is an FCA and has an MBA from Stanford University and a First Class Honours degree in Chemistry from Oxford University.

Outside of business and academia, Jeff is a long-term contributor to the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and is on their Finance & General Purposes Committee and also supports Creation Theatre Company in Oxford.


Rt Hon Sir Simon Hughes – Head of Public Affairs, The Open University 

Elected in 1983, Simon was the first Liberal Member of Parliament for Southwark, Bermondsey since 1939. He has since been re-elected seven times.

While working as a barrister in the Inner Temple, Simon was a volunteer detached youth worker for the Greenhouse Trust, a member of the Inner London Education Authority Southwark Area Youth Committee and the founding chair of the Burgess Park Tenants and Residents Association.

From 2004 to 2008, Simon served as elected Federal President of the Liberal Democrats. In 2010 he was elected Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons, and at the end of 2010 was appointed as a Privy Councillor and as the government’s Advocate for Access to Education.

Simon joined the Liberal Party in 1971 and during his time as an MP, as well as other posts, has been Shadow Home Secretary and Shadow Secretary for Energy and Climate Change.

Simon was one of the leaders of the Save the Rose campaign in 1989 and the Save Guy’s Hospital campaign in the 1990s. Simon is Honorary Fellow of London South Bank University; Patron of Southwark Playhouse, Surrey Docks Farm, Friends of Southwark Park and the Quay Players; Chair of Trustees of the Mayor’s Thames Festival and London Bubble; Chair of Governors of St James’ Primary School Bermondsey; Co-chair of Southbank Employers Group and South Bank Forum; Trustee of Bacon’s College and the Social Mobility Foundation; and a regular supporter of Millwall FC and other sports teams in and around the borough.


Peter Jolly – Director of Drama, Dulwich College 

Peter Jolly is Director of Drama at Dulwich College and President of the College’s Common Room. He took a degree in Art History and a postgraduate teaching qualification in drama at Nottingham University before beginning his teaching career. Peter spent several years working in theatre design and directing with a number of production companies.
Peter’s Dulwich career has been combined with a number of different ventures, including a year spent teaching at the Latin School of Chicago and directing productions at a number of major venues and with leading actors. Latterly, Peter has worked on the Henslowe-Alleyn theatre papers, leading a loan exhibition at Shakespeare’s Globe as part of the 2016 anniversary celebrations. He has given talks about the archive to audiences including the Massachusetts Shakespeare & Co theatre company and to the Shakespeare Club in Stratford. Peter sits on Shakespeare’s Globe Council, moderates ‘A’ Level Drama and is a regular contributor to Teaching Drama magazine.


Dr Maurice Hindle – Writer and Independent Scholar

Maurice Hindle has taught English and Drama studies at several British universities. Until recently, he was a Visiting Fellow in the English Department at The Open University, where he taught Shakespeare for fifteen years. From 2011-13 he managed to completion (with the academic assistance of Professor Andrew Gurr) the two-year AHRC-funded project he devised in 2009-10, SHAKESPEAREAN LONDON THEATRES (ShaLT), editing, designing and producing THE GUIDE TO SHAKESPEAREAN LONDON THEATRES and the informative ShaLT WALKING MAP. Among his book and essay publications in Romanticism, he has produced Penguin Classic editions of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, William Godwin’s CALEB WILLIAMS and Bram Stoker’s DRACULA. He has a long-standing interest in film, the second edition of his book SHAKESPEARE ON FILM appearing in 2015. Alongside working on a long-brewing book, SINGING HIS HEART AND SPEAKING HIS MIND: THE SONGWORLD OF JOHN LENNON, he is currently assembling a follow-up project to ShaLT about early theatre in Clerkenwell and Shoreditch, SHAKESPEARE IN NORTH LONDON (ShaNL).


Anne Rowley

Anne Rowley’s appointment to the Board in 2011 was as the liaison member with the Friends of The Rose, of which she has been a committee member. She joined the Friends many years ago but has only become actively involved since January 2011.

Her background, an Honours degree in English Literature and Language from Edinburgh University, led to VSO teaching in Uganda, working for a publisher in London and eight years with the F.C.O. Information Research Department, both in London and Beirut. Returning from the Middle East, among other voluntary activity she has been a JP (Adult and Family Courts) for twenty-seven years, a governor of an independent school, on the steering committee and Board of Home-Start Southwark, and was a lay member of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority’s Service / Disciplinary Committees. She has been involved with Shakespeare’s Globe since 1986 and is a member of the Council, a steward and Friends Desk volunteer.


Tony Toller

Tony Toller has been involved with the Rose Theatre Trust since the mid-90s, becoming a Director and Trustee in 2000. Ideally placed to help with both the marketing and theatrical side of the enterprise, he initially arranged the staging of performances, cultural events and exhibitions that have now become a regular and important part of the site’s future.

Tony started out as an actor, having trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After a short period with the BBC, he worked in advertising, becoming Executive Creative Director of one of the largest UK agencies. Before joining the Board of The Rose, he started up his own film production company, writing and directing for both the theatre and television. Tony now lives in Wiltshire continuing to write and direct. Among his other responsibilities are Marketing Consultant to Wilton Windmill (an English Heritage site), a Writing Group Consultant for the local U3A, and Parish Councillor. He gives talks on The Rose to local History Groups and Heritage Clubs throughout the West County.


Professor Sir Stanley Wells – KB, CBE, FRSL

Stanley Wells is Honorary President and Former Chairman of the Trustees of Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, of which he was for many years Vice-Chairman. He holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham, is a Fellow of University College London and holds honorary doctorates from Furman University, South Carolina, and from the Universities of Munich, Hull, Durham, Craiova, Marburg and Warwick. His books include Literature and Drama; Royal Shakespeare: Studies of Four Major Productions at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; Modernizing Shakespeare’s Spelling; Re-editing Shakespeare for the Modern Reader; and Shakespeare: the Poet and his Plays. He edited A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II and The Comedy of Errors for the New Penguin Shakespeare and King Lear for the Oxford Shakespeare. He was for nearly twenty years the editor of the annual Shakespeare Survey, and writes for The New York Review of Books and many other publications. He has edited The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies and is General Editor (with Gary Taylor) of The Complete Oxford Shakespeare and co-author of William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion. Among his recent books are Shakespeare in the Theatre: An Anthology of Criticism; The Oxford Dictionary of Shakespeare; The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (edited with Michael Dobson); Shakespeare For All Time; Looking for Sex in Shakespeare; Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Coffee with Shakespeare, both co-authored with Paul Edmondson; Shakespeare & Co.; Shakespeare, Sex, and Love; and Shakespeare Beyond Doubt (co-edited with Paul Edmondson). He has been a Board member of the Rose Theatre Trust since its inception.


Roy Stephenson,MCIfA FSA

Roy Stephenson has worked in London archaeology since 1986, most recently as the Museum of London’s Historic Environment Lead, a role that encompassed archaeological archives and collections, osteology collections, the Portable Antiquities scheme and planning for a new Museum of London at West Smithfield.

Roy’s career at the Museum of London was inextricably bound together with The Rose Playhouse story, having visited the site to provide dates for pot sherds during the excavation and in the fullness of time absorbing the Rose Excavation archive into the collections of the Museum.

Roy is also a Trustee of the Ashington Group of paintings, sometimes known as the “Pitmen Painters”, which in turn inspired Lee Hall’s play of the same name. Coincidently Lee Hall adapted the film script for the stage play of Shakespeare in Love, which is partially set in the Rose.

Southwark continues to hold a fascination for Roy, since first working for the Department of Greater London Archaeology based at various warehouse and offices in the borough. The eventual realisation of The Rose Playhouse as an archaeology, performance and exhibition space is a very exciting prospect for Bankside and Southwark.


Other Officers


Robin Roads – Honorary Treasurer

Robin Roads has been Honorary Treasurer of the Rose Theatre Trust since December 2008. He is a Chartered Accountant and previously had a long career in Pension Fund Accounting, mainly with Grand Metropolitan/Diageo.


Dr Johanna Schmitz – Honorary Archivist

Department of Theater and Dance, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville