Time Out says
First-class theatre in a lovingly recreated Elizabethan setting
Shakespeare’s Globe reopens in May 2021 with a socially distanced season in which the groundlings will be seated.
Built in 1599 and destroyed by fire in 1613, the original Globe Theatre was at the heart of London’s seedy South London 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.
Fast forward to 1997, when, following a decades-long campaign run by the late American actor Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's famous wooden 'O' was recreated near its original site, using timber, thatch, and immaculately researched Elizabethan detail. You can get to grips with this theatre's history at its daytime tours, but there's a lot to be said for experiencing it in action. The venue's popular 'groundling' tickets invite punters to stand in front of the stage for just £5, or there's an option to get a more comfy view of the action from galleried bench seating. This outdoor space is closed in winter. But more recently, Shakespeare's Globe added the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – a candlelit indoor theatre within the Globe’s building, which presents plays in a traditional Jacobean setting.
Artistically, there’s a commitment to the Bard, but within that it’s one of London’s liveliest and occasionally most controversial theatres.
Founding artistic director Mark Rylance led from the front: one of the world’s great actors, he still returns now and again. Just don’t ask him about whether he thought Shakespeare wrote all his own plays.
Dominic Dromgoole, the longest serving artistic director, had a reputation for being somewhat combatitive, but ushered in something of a golden age for the theatre, and oversaw the completion of the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse that allowed programming to go year round.
Emma Rice brought two scintillatingly good seasons of work to the Globe before she was forced out by the theatre's board, who were annoyed at her propensity for using amplified light and sound in productions. They wanted to restrict her; she walked.
The current artistic director is Michelle Terry. An actor-manager in the Rylance mould, she has focussed her efforts on diversity and actor-friendliness, and has already had her first hit with new feminist play 'Emilia', a story of Shakespeare's 'Dark Lady' which landed a West End transfer.
New Globe Walk
|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.|
|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.)|
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‘Twelfth Night’ review
Sean Holmes’s new production of ‘Twelfth Night’ for the Globe is a veritable love letter to the myriad oddball minor characters in Shakespeare’s great comedy. Most specifically we’re talking about the eccentrics who populate the household of Shona Babayemi’s...Shakespeare Until Wednesday October 27 2021
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: the Globe is back and how we’ve missed it
Other theatres may be hipper, slicker, starrier and physically warmer. But Shakespeare’s Globe is the beating heart of London theatre: boisterous, historic, audience-inclusive, affordable, it’s a permanent tribute to history’s greatest playwright, but...Shakespeare Until Saturday October 30 2021
Yes, Globe! This banging little production by four actors, two directors and the theatre’s first three writers-in-residence since Big Will Himself himself is a real treat. ‘Metamorphoses’ totally blew away my Netflix cobwebs (I do still find my sofa quite...Drama Until Saturday October 30 2021
Measure for Measure
The Globe’s first indoor Shakespeare play of the pandemic era is directed by the prolific Blanche McIntyre, a regular face at the theatre. ‘Measure for Measure’ is one of the Bard’s most potent plays, a problematic morality drama in which the Duke of...Shakespeare Friday November 19 2021 - Saturday January 15 2022
The Fir Tree
Wrap up warm! The sole outdoor show in the Globe’s winter season – ie it’s happening in the main theatre, while the others are in the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – is Hannah Khalil’s ‘The Fir Tree’, the Irish-Palestinian playwright’s stage adaptation...Children's Monday December 20 2021 - Thursday December 30 2021
The Globe is perhaps the one theatre in the entire world where ‘Hamlet’ gets programmed without any actor attached: the titanic play’s usual status as a celebrity vehicle feels at odds with the Globe’s inclusive, ensemble approach. Theatre boss Michelle...Shakespeare Friday January 21 2022 - Saturday April 9 2022