The Rose was a project supported by Peter Hall and broadcaster David Jacobs CBE, who served as chairman of the Kingston Theatre Trust.
The construction was undertaken with £5m (of the £11m construction cost) support from the local council, involvement from Kingston University, Peter Hall, and the Friends of Kingston Theatre. The shell of the building was provided to the Trust for free by St George plc as one of the concessions for the construction of Charter Quay, a development on the bank of the Thames.
In January 2008, a week after the theatre opened, Hall resigned and it was announced that from April 2008, Stephen Unwin, departing director of English Touring Theatrewould take over the role of 'Artistic Director', while Hall would remain as 'Director Emeritus'.
On 25 November 2010 the Rose won an award for 'Commitment to the Community' at the Kingston Business Awards. The same week, Sir Peter Hall won the Moscow Arts Theatre 'Golden Seagull' award for his contribution to World Theatre at the Evening Standard Awards.