First-class theatre in a lovingly recreated Elizabethan setting
Built in 1599 and destroyed by fire in 1613, the original Globe Theatre was at the heart of London’s seedy entertainment district in William Shakespeare’s time. Here, productions were put on by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, who included in their company old Bill himself. Although the theatre was rebuilt after the fire, it was eventually torn down in 1644, and as London’s entertainment centre moved west, this stretch of South Bank between Blackfriars and London Bridge was all but forgotten for generations.
Fast forward to 1997, when, following a decades-long campaign run by the late American actor Sam Wanamaker, the Globe was recreated near it’s original site. They used as much historical detail as could be found when designing the building in order to provide an authentic, Shakespearean experience with plays presented as close as possible to the kind of setting and conditions The Bard would have written for.
Compared to the seventeenth century version of the theatre, the modern day Shakespeare’s Globe only holds about half the capacity, but theatre-goers can still get a rich feel for what it was like to be a ‘groundling’ (the standing rabble at the front of the stage) in the circular, open-air theatre.
However, a visit here isn’t just a history lesson. The theatre productions are among the best in London. Each season (spring to early autumn) includes several Shakespeare classics, performed by a company of established and upcoming actors, while works of other writers are also programmed. The Globe also now offers performances in the recently opened Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – a candlelit indoor theatre within the Globe’s building, which presents plays in a traditional Jacobean setting. Even if you’re not attending a play, you can do the Globe Exhibition and Tour. Open all year round, the tour explores the life and work of Shakespeare and theatre in his time.
|Venue name:||Shakespeare's Globe||Contact:|
New Globe Walk
|Opening hours:||Globe Exhibition and Tour daily 9am–5pm. Closed Dec 24 and 25. (Check in advance for dates when the tour is not available.)|
|Transport:||Tube: Blackfriars/Mansion House/London Bridge|
|Price:||Exhibition and tour: £15, £13.50 60-plus, £12.50 students, £9 under-16s, free under-fives, £41 family.|
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'The Captive Queen' review
John Dryden's play is an eccentric vision of Mughal India, set in a land that's pieced together from outlandish accounts from seventeenth century travellers. Barrie Rutter's production punctures some of its potential silliness, setting it in the down-to-earth...Drama Until Sunday March 4 2018
All’s Well That Ends Well review
There are various reasons why Shakespeare’s ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ doesn’t get staged that often. Its characters’ unrelatably weird behaviour is definitely a biggie. The plot – which I’m just going to spoiler here – follows Helena, a low-born ward...Shakespeare Monday February 26 2018 - Saturday March 3 2018
Vivaldi's The Four Seasons: A Reimagining
In this unlikely mash-up, a quintet of musicians will play Max Richter's recomposition of Vivaldi’s 'The Four Seasons', while master puppeteers Gyre & Gimble bring it to life. Gyre & Gimble are Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié, the brains behind the massive...Puppetry Friday March 9 2018 - Saturday April 21 2018
The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales
Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Matchgirl’ is an important pillar of our Christmas tradition, an icy dagger of conscience glittering amidst the tinsel. It’s also bloody depressing, and if it were dragged out into a 90-minute piece of standalone...Children's Tuesday March 27 2018 - Saturday April 21 2018
It's pretty audacious of new Shakespeare's Globe boss Michelle Terry to kick off her tenure with 'Hamlet'. Despite the fact that the Bard's existential masterpiece is staged almost constantly in London (this will follow hot on the heels of the RSC's Hackney...Shakespeare Wednesday April 25 2018 - Sunday August 26 2018
As You Like It
As if Michelle Terry wasn't giving herself a difficult enough job by kicking off her tenure at the Globe with an actor-led (ie there's no formal director) production of 'Hamlet', then she's having the same company of actors – including herself – tackle...Shakespeare Wednesday May 2 2018 - Sunday August 26 2018
Shakespeare's Globe on Tour
Three Shakespeare plays are starting and finishing their tour of the country with a select few dates at the Globe. You can see 'Twelfth Night', 'The Taming of the Shrew' and 'The Merchant of Venice' on selected dates in May and September. Or opt for one...Shakespeare Monday May 7 2018 - Sunday September 9 2018
Two Noble Kinsmen
Michelle Terry is opening her inaugural season at the Globe with a populist one-two of ‘Hamlet’ and ‘As You Like It’ that should get bums on seats no problem. But this is a bit more of a risk: Barrie Rutter – formerly of Northern Broadsides, and one of...Shakespeare Friday May 25 2018 - Saturday June 30 2018
The Globe marks Refugee Week with a short Sam Wanamaker Playhouse run for this monologue written and performed by rising star director Jude Christian. She descibes it as ‘a theatre essay on mixed-race families, militant pacifism, and the Rape of Nanking’...Shakespeare Friday June 22 2018 - Sunday June 24 2018
The Winter's Tale
One of Shakespeare's most enigmatic plays, 'The Winter's Tale', is a story that's tinged with magic. A jealous king destroys his family, until the passing of time and the power of the gods helps reunited this royal clan. In 2016, Shakespeare's Globe mounted...Shakespeare Friday June 22 2018 - Sunday October 14 2018
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Always amazing! I love how contemporary the productions have been in the last two years. Shame that the creative director is leaving the post already. The old men just can't take the brilliance of a woman!
Quite simply this has to be done at least once in your life .....fabulous , although a little chilly x
For more than 400 years, we have had the amazing plays of Shakespeare - now we have the instrument for which they were written! Wonderful! :-)
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!