Shakespeare's Globe

  • Theatre
  • Shakespeare
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© John Tramper
© Pete Le May
Full house - © Manuel Harlan
Thatched roof - © Jonathan Perugia / Time Out
© John Tramper
© Pawel Libera
Muse of Fire © Alex Harvey-Brown
The Malcontent - © Alastair Muir
Blue Stockings - © Manuel Harlan
'Blue Stockings' at Shakespeare's Globe
South Bank
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Home of Shakespeare in London, and one of our most iconic theatres

The original Globe Theatre, where many of Shakespeare's plays were first staged and which he co-owned, burned to the ground in 1613 after a special effect malfunction (a cannon set fire to the roof) during a performance of 'Henry VIII'. Nearly 400 years later, it was rebuilt not far from its original site, using construction methods and materials as close to the originals as possible.

Despite some initial scepticism, Shakespeare’s Globe has been an unbridled success, a hugely popular and iconic theatre that's as popular with Londoners as it is with tourists. When it opened in 1997 it was with one theatre, the outdoor, April to October Globe Theatre, but since 2014 it has had year-round programing thanks to the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, an intimate Jacobean-style playhouse.

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of its programming revolves around the works of Shakespeare, though its second artistic director Dominic Dromgoole – who followed the great actor Mark Rylance – introduced a spirited (if mercurial) programme of new writing. Its third artistic director will be Emma Rice, former artistic director of Kneehigh, who takes on over in 2016.

Even without seeing a show, Shakespeare's Globe is an afternoon out in itself, with exhibitions and tours throughout the year. There's also fine drinking and snaking opportunities, and if you want to sit down for a full meal the attached Swan restaurant is a solid choice.

Though Shakespeare's Globe is unsubsidised, tickets are kept as cheap as possible, with the famous £5 'groundling' (ie, standing in the yard) tickets held at a mere £5 for years. The seats are cramped and uncomfortable to period specifications, though you can hire a cushion and you'll be sheltered from all but the most determined rain.

Venue name: Shakespeare's Globe
Address: 21
New Globe Walk
Opening hours: Exhibition: Daily 9am-5pm Tours: Mon 9.30am-5pm; Tue-Sat 9.30am-5pm; Sun 9.30-11.30pm
Transport: Tube: Blackfriars/Mansion House/London Bridge
Price: Exhibition and Globe Theatre Tour: £13.50, £12 seniors, £11 students, £8 under-16s, free under-fives, £36 family
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  • Shakespeare Until Friday April 22 2016
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  • Shakespeare Saturday February 13 2016
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  • West End Wednesday February 17 2016 - Friday April 22 2016
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  • Shakespeare Sunday February 21 2016 - Thursday April 21 2016
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  • West End Friday March 4 2016 - Thursday April 21 2016
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  • Shakespeare Saturday April 30 2016 - Sunday September 11 2016
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  • Shakespeare Friday May 13 2016 - Saturday August 6 2016
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  • Drama Thursday June 16 2016 - Saturday July 2 2016
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  • Shakespeare Saturday June 18 2016 - Saturday October 1 2016
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  • Drama Thursday August 11 2016 - Sunday September 11 2016
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

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Emma P
Staff Writer

We had a tour as part of a school group. The kids were so excited to be allowed on the huge Globe stage and they were encouraged by the guide to deliver a line of Shakespeare to the crowd below: 'is this a dagger which I see before me?'. They were delighting by the trap door and being able to go backstage too. There's something about this beautifully-crafted building that's magical and inspiring, even when there's no production on. The class then took part in a workshop in one of the Globe's wonderful rehearsal spaces around the corner. The same guide – Alex – led the kids through a brilliant session on Macbeth, asking them questions, experimenting with performance techniques and knowing exactly when some physical shenanigans were in order to keep the troops' concentration focussed. A brilliant and educational day out. 

Doug C

For more than 400 years, we have had the amazing plays of Shakespeare - now we have the instrument for which they were written! Wonderful! :-)

NakedPRGirl Claire

A magical experience. You'll be lured into The Globe immediately with its cool, authentic design echoing the original Globe. My only word of warning is please please be careful if you're booked restricted view seats...because depending on where the actors stand, it may be no view. Also secondly if you have any problems standing for extended periods, careful with the standing tickets! Cos it's a long time. However, the setting is out of this world along the River Thames, and anything you see in The Globe is usually fabulous! You can have a nice drink inside the grounds and reserve more for the interval. If it rains and you're seated, you should remain dry, if you're standing, not so much! But on a great day, the atmosphere and the architecture inside are stunning. Enjoy.

Victoria A

Enjoyed the Tour at the globe. The guide for the tour was quite amusing and funny. Lovely place.

Leonard Fahrni

Went to England in 2000 for the first time just to see the Globe - what a fantastic experience! I have been back several times and sat through 3 plays one day last July. I recommend it to everyone who is in town for more than a day or two.


WE love our visit to the Globe. The guide was fantastic. We enjoy the guided tour and love the lay out theatre. Absolutelly fantastic.


Visiting the Globe is a highlight of any trip to the capital and I recommend the standing tickets to be at the heart of the action!