Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
Written by Viator, January 2012
What we have now is history, great plays that are performed all around the world every year, and a legacy of English language sayings that were first heard in the mouths of actors in these plays. Without Shakespeare the world would be a different place, there’s no disputing that. History shows us – whether he was the writer of all those plays or not – William Shakespeare did exist and he was an important man on London’s theatre scene.
In 1599, Shakespeare together with his business partners who called themselves Lord Chamberlain’s Men (as they had the Lord Chamberlain’s and thus Court patronage) built the first Globe Theatre in Southwark on the banks of the Thames (near the current Southbank). This was the Elizabethan era and theatre was popular with the masses who bought cheap tickets and stood around the theatre yelling and screaming at the players on the stage in response to the play.
The company had exclusive rights to Shakespeare’s plays, which were hugely popular as soon as he wrote them, and King James I became patron of the theatre in 1603. The Globe Theatre burnt down in 1613 and a second one was built, but was closed by the Puritans in 1642 and pulled down so tenement housing could be built.
In 1989 a foundation stone of this original theatre was unearthed and in 1997 American actor and director Sam Wanamaker built a replica Globe Theatre as close to this original site as possible. The round theatre hosts Shakespeare plays year around so you can go and see the performances as people did when Shakespeare himself was staging them – in the open-air round theatre, standing, or sitting on a cushion on a hard wooden bench.
There are also regular daily tours, an exhibition and education programs about Shakespeare and his theatre. Did he write all these wonderful plays? You decide.
Tours & Tickets
Experience 2,000 years of British history in just three hours! On this guided tour through London, you’ll see all the classic sights before enjoying a typical ... Read more
London, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)