As a property converted from an inn to a playhouse, the Boar's Head should be seen as an outdoor theatre rather than as a city inn such as the Bell or the Bel Savage, and so it should not be classified along with the four inns featured elsewhere in our narrative. Although it seems to have been considerably smaller than the other outdoor venues such as the Curtain or the Fortune, the fact that it staged plays for nearly two decades is revealing about its popularity. Furthermore, the playhouse must have fared reasonably well from the start, as we know that in 1599 (its second year of business) the basic venue was upgraded and enlarged for extra fee-paying spectators.
Likewise, some of the major playing companies were often based here. Queen Anna’s Men played at the Boar's Head in the first years of the seventeenth century before moving to the Red Bull in 1605, a move which may have marked the end of playing at the Boar's Head.
Various legal disputes make the ownership of the playhouse at any one time extremely difficult to identify, but numerous men were involved in its setting up and running, including Oliver Woodliffe, Robert Browne, Richard Samuel, and Francis Langley (who had earlier run the Swan south of the river).
For a computer reconstruction of the Boar's Head see the Ortelia Project.