The site of the Globe Theatre goes back to the 16th Century but only lasted until 1642 when the site was used for tenements. Sam Wanamaker's aim was to rebuild a replica of the original globe theatre and in 1996 the theatre was completed. Sadly Sam Wanamaker died in 1993 soon after the site had been secured and the foundation work had just been completed. The Globe Theatre was officially opened in June 1997.
You can read more about the theatre's history via the official website
The Globe Theatre hosts Shakespeare plays on a seasonal basis and others by different writers which are performed by the in house company. Occasionally the theatre receives visiting companies. The theatre has an exhibition and tours are offered throughout the year - I yet haven't done either of those things but will update this tip when I do.
I paid a visit in June 2013 where I saw a production of Macbeth which I thoroughly enjoyed. You can read about my account via this link.
It's worth visiting Shakespeare's Globe Theatre whether it's to see a play or do a tour.
Such a good idea it's incredible nobody thought of doing it before. Actor Sam Wanamaker, veteran Shakespeare actor and Hollywood star, made it happen, although it took nearly 30 years. The story of the theater's creation was such an epic fight against bureaucracy it could be a move itself. The local council, whose efforts to commemorate the theater was nothing more than a rusting plaque on a disused brewery, was utterly hostile to the project. It got built, eventually, but not until several years after Wanamaker died.
The story is reflected in the fate of the original Globe Theater, which ran for 45 years, bringing happiness to thousands, before it was finally shut down in 1644 by joyless Puritans who later, under Cromwell, would also ban Christmas.
As we continued to walk along the South Bank we passed the Globe Theatre, We did not have the time to look around the inside as we were heading for another (and original) haunt of Shakespere but hopefully i will get to explore it at a later date. I have seen some pictures of the inside and it does look really good.
An evening at the theatre is of course a “Nightlife” activity, but did you know that you can also visit the Globe Theatre for a tour during the daytime? This is hugely enjoyable, and you learn so much at the same time about the theatre of Shakespeare’s day.
Firstly you visit the Globe Exhibition, which explores the life of Shakespeare, the London he lived in, and the theatre of his day. You will see Elizabethan costumes and Renaissance instruments. You also learn about the construction of both the original Globe Theatre and this modern-day version. The exhibition has been greatly extended in recent years so even if you've been before you'll find plenty to interest you. You can have an audio tour gadget at no extra charge (and as well as English, these are available in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese). And your ticket is valid all day, so if you prefer to do the tour before visiting the exhibition that's fine too.
Next, you will be taken on a tour of the theatre itself. When I went with friends for the first time, a few years ago now, our guide was one of the theatre company’s actors, and he enhanced our tour with an account of the challenges of mounting productions in this unique space, and with our own private recital of Hamlet’s soliloquy! On my more recent visit (with VT's Regina1965) our guide was not an actress, but was very good just the same.
In the summer when there are matinee performances the tours don't run after about midday, but you can still visit the exhibition (at a reduced charge) or choose to go instead to the the Rose Theatre archaeological site to view the remains of the earliest theatre in Bankside, where some of Shakespeare’s earliest plays were performed. The Rose tour includes the Bankside area, allowing you to imagine this area during Shakespeare’s lifetime.
The exhibition and tour cost £13.50 for adults, £12.00 for seniors (60+), £11 for students (with valid ID) and £8.00 for children (5-15). A family ticket, covering up to 2 adults & 3 children costs £36.00. Prices are reduced on those days when the theatre cannot be visited and the Rose is substituted. Pre-booking, on the phone number below or online, is advised – both to guarantee admission, but also to confirm that the theatre itself will be open.
Update March 2013: information updated (including prices), new photo added
Despite the similarities, Shakespeare’s Globe is not the same theatre in which the bard’s works were performed. It is a reconstruction of the theatre, according to scholarly accounts and estimations, that was opened in 1997 on the same site as the original construction. The Globe was the brainchild of the American actor Sam Wanamaker, who wanted to recreate the theatre that stood on this plot during Shakespeare’s life, which was, incidentally, destroyed in 1614 by a fire. The theatre, like many other theatres of the time (and similar to the theatres that were built by the Romans) has a stage that is thrust out into the centre of the structure, and raked, stadium-like seating for the spectators. The Globe offers visitors both theatrical spectacles and tours, as its faithful reconstruction of the Globe theatre as it might have stood at the end of the 16th century is worthy of touristic interest in and of itself. It also helps encourage the artist and architectural diversity that is so evident all along Bankside.
Found on the South Bank near Southwark Bridge, the reconstructed Globe Theatre associated with William Shakespeare opened in 1997. The original theatre constructed in 1599 by Shakespeare's Playing Company burnt down in 1613 but by the following year a new one stood in its place, which actually closed down 29 years later to make room for a housing project. The new Shakespeare Globe was reconstructed like the original made entirely from English Oak with mortise and tenon joints and has the only thatched roof in London as they were banned after the Great Fire of London.
It's a reconstruction of the globe theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614 and finally demolish in 1644.
When we decided to stay a few days in London, we wanted to visit this theatre, but rather than just visiting, we have chosen to book tickets for a play.
We saw a performance of "Dr Faustus" and we were delighted, the actors were excellents and most played 2 or 3 roles, the staging was without dead-time and with some imagination one can imagine being in the past when shakespeare was playing .
standing in front of the stage cost 5 pounds
seats are more expensive and don't forget the cushion (1 pound)
Southwark is the entertainment centre, the location of Elizabethan theatres.
The 1st Globe Theatre was constructed in 1599 by English actor Richard Burbage in partnership with Shakespeare and others, but was destroyed in 1613 during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII.
The New Globe is 180 metres from the exact place where Shakespeare’s theatre stood, and was built with the same materials and building methods. Like the original, it’s a round building, 3 storeys high, with a wooden frame and plaster walls. A thatched roof leaves the middle of the theatre open to the sky.
The New Globe opened in 1997, and is used from May to September for performances of plays both by Shakespeare and other playwrights of his time. Performances take place in the daytime, as in Shakespeare’s time.
By the way, there are guided tours every half hour (the last tour is at 4.30pm):
Mon-Sat: 9am-12.30pm and 1-5pm,
Sun: 9-11.30am and 12-5pm
Ticket fee (August 2011):
Student and Senior: £8.50
The re-creation (it is not a replica) of Shakespere's Globe theatre is a real must see if you have ant artistic, literary or cultural leanings in your soul.
The Guided tour is well worth taking, a refreshingly well presented informative and non-cliched affair.
It was fascinating to hear an explanation about how the whole stage area works as both a physical and a metaphysical space - something which I had never realised before.
The stage itself is the 'earth', and inded Shakespere famously said that "All the world's a stage". Trapdoors allow entry to a watery netherworl on the same level as the great unwashed watching in the pit. Meanwhile devices can be used to transport players up into the 'gods' the area above the stage. Once you understand this, the underside of the stage ceiling being painted with clouds and stars makes perfect sense.
When you add in the fact that the whole thing is called 'the Globe' (as in a world or universe) and it is circular in shape, thaen the thinking that went into its construction is just a bit on the impressive side. This is all the more true because the original theatre would have been erected in a matter of months - and on budget too !
Sam Wanamaker, that American impressario was the driving force behind re-creating one of the Theatres that Shakespere himself used on the modern South bank.
They have done a fine job, although it tour (highly recommended in my book) makes it clear that this is a re-creation rather than a replica. For a start, to fit with modern health and safety requirements it has more door than the original and those illuminated 'Fire exit' signs. It is also not exactly on the same site as the original.
The Globe in Elizabethan time would have been knocked up cheaply in a matter of months, but this edifice has taken years of painstaking work and several very large wads of cash.
On the outside, the modern stucture has exposed beams but this is proabably not how it would have looked. We tend to have an image in our minds of what such a building should look like - and we want it that we. Inside, there is a similar story - the seats are very plain and simple so the attention is firmly fixed on the stage. All sorts of lurid adornments would have been common in the past. The pit too is now a concerete surface - they didn't have bags of blue circle readymix then.
The stage area is authentic enough - but it doesnt allow the audience to buy seats on the stage itself or on a balcont behind. This was common practice in Shakespere's day and must have cost a fortune.
Having said all that, seeing Shakespere here is probably the closest thing you will find on the planet to what the experience would have been when Southwark was the Shaftsbury ave / Broadway of it's day.
This is a scale replica of the Globe. Its not in its exact spot...but close. The best way to appreciate this is to book to see a play being performed...as you;ll recreate the feeling of early english theatre performances...other than that its a replica!
Shakespeares Globe Theatre is right against the banks of the River Thames. You get a great view of it if you walk over the Millennium footbridge over the Thames from St Pauls Cathedral.
This is not original however, even if it looks very old. It is a very carefully built reconstruction made out of wood and is circular in shape as the name suggests.
Plays are actually held here, and although they are only held in the summer (there is a hole in the roof, so it may get a bit cold in winter), if you like Shakespeare, it is well worth trying to get a ticket (se the website below for more info) as they tend to use very good actors here.
There is also a visitors centre next door which has a permanent exhibition of William Shakespeare's work and the times he lived in.
This is actually a reconstitution of the Shakespeare Theater. The original one(Elizabethan theater) was about 300 meters away in which Shakespeare was an actor and a shareholder and is thought to have been finished at the end of the 15th century.
In 1613 it burned down during a performance and was rebuilt and used until around 1642.
The puritains then came to power in england and shut down all form of public entertainment. It was then demolished.
It wasnt until 1970 that the project of its resurection happened and reopenned in 1997 in a different location.
You can take a tour of the theater or obviously go and watch a play.
During the summer months, a selection of Shakespeare's plays are performed at the Globe, often twice a day. Get tickets in advance-- they will be sold out if you tried to get them just before the show!
Shakespeare's original Globe Theatre may have disappeared almost 400 years ago. But in the 1990's a replica was lovingly rebuilt, using a similar design and many original building methods.
Shakespeare's plays are regularly perfomed here by the country's best actors and it is a very unusual and atmospheric venue for a night out at the theatre. Like the original building, it is open to the sky. Around the outside there are several curved tiers of covered seating, but the central floor area in front of the stage is available for the crowds to stand and watch.
The Globe has an excellent website which allows you to choose your seat and see what view you have of the performance. I bought one of the cheapest tickets (£17 incl booking fee) and found myself sitting close to an oak pillar, but I was close to the stage and didn't miss much!
The programme was excellent value, a nice souvenir with lots of useful information about the play, the cast and the building.
The theatre building is surrounded by stalls selling wine, drinks and food. There is also a lively brasserie immediately next to the courtyard. All together an unmissable experience!