THE man who created Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in York this summer wants to bring it back next year - despite being asked if he would take it to other cities in Britain and overseas.

James Cundall, chief executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, says he is already in talks with City of York Council about a potential return to the site near Clifford’s Tower in 2019.

“This is where it belongs,” he said, speaking before the final performances today and tomorrow. “What is striking is how quickly it has become part of York’s fabric.

“We have sold about 78,000 tickets and, with about 2,000 additional people visiting the Shakespearean village each week, with its food and drink offer and free entertainment on the wagon, that’s about 100,000 who have made their way to this end of the city.”

He revealed that some of the audience had not just travelled from across the country to the theatre but also from abroad, with a party of four travelling from Missouri to York to see all four plays: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Ricard III.

He felt the biggest success for him had been to see the large demographic of the audience members enjoying the show and the village.

“People who have never even thought about watching Shakespeare have enjoyed a thrilling night watching Macbeth with blood and sword fighting galore; or found the humour and rather rudeish comedy of Midsummer Night’s Dream hilarious,” he said.

“We have had young and old, theatre purists and non-theatre goers, date night teenagers to passing visitors who have just stumbled across us.”

He said Midsummer Night’s Dream had been the most popular play, but said that if the theatre does return next year, it will show four different plays.

Steve Brown, head of destination management organisation Make it York, said the theatre ‘truly has brought residents and visitors alike into the city centre in overwhelming numbers, making this summer one of the best York has ever seen.’

Philip Bolson, general manager of the Grand Hotel, said: “It is rewarding to hear so many of our hotel guests have been to the theatre whilst staying with us.”

Meanwhile, Alexander Vlahos, star of hit BBC series Versailles who has been playing Romeo, has had a tattoo created at True Colour parlour in Clifford Street in memory of his time here, carrying a quote from Romeo: “I defy you stars.”

He tweeted: “I can’t express how much this job has given me. How much Romeo has brought to me. How much this incredible company of actors has taught me. I will miss it so much. Now, Romeo is always with me. The role of a lifetime #RomeoandJuliet.”