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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For the best part of 400 years, ‘Othello’ been treated as a tragedy about a black man, Othello, driven out of his mind by the racist scheming of his supposed friend, Iago. But Claire van Kampen’s surprisingly jaunty production for the Globe takes the...Shakespeare Until Saturday October 13 2018
Matt Hartley's new drama is a fictionalisation of the remarkable true events that took place in the Derbyshire village of Eyam (pronounced Eem) in 1665, wherein the local Reverend William Mompesson took a series of remarkable decision to attempt to combat...Drama Until Saturday October 13 2018
‘The Winter’s Tale’ review
‘A sad tale’s best for winter,’ declares the young prince Mamillius in this, one of Shakespeare’s most curious and intriguing plays. Mamillius’s own story is about to get sadder than he can imagine: shortly, he will see his father Leontes, wrongly accuse...Shakespeare Saturday September 22 2018 - Sunday October 14 2018
Shakespeare's supernatural chiller of ambition and madness opens the Winter season at the intimate, candelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe. 'Macbeth' is directed by Robert Hastie, following his pacy, well-reviewed take on 'Julius Caesar' at Sheffield...Shakespeare Wednesday November 7 2018 - Saturday February 2 2019
Ralegh: The Treason Trial
During Elizabeth I's reign, Sir Walter Raleigh was a much-loved swashbuckling adventurer and queen's favourite. Then when James I took over, things started to go pear-shaped... This new interactive show recreates Raleigh's trial for treason, casting 12...Drama Saturday November 24 2018 - Friday November 30 2018
Christopher Marlowe's classic follows a scholar who signs a deal with the devil, in an infernal look at ambition and sacrifice. It's coming to the candle-lit surrounds of Shakespeare's Globe's indoor playhouse this winter, in a production directed by...Shakespeare Saturday December 1 2018 - Saturday February 2 2019
Dark Night of the Soul
Michelle Terry's Winter season at Shakespeare's Globe is pretty bloke-heavy, so she's redressing the balance with this collection of short plays by some of the most exciting female playwrights around. 'Dark Night of the Soul' responds to the idea of the...Drama Saturday January 19 2019 - Friday February 1 2019
Christopher Marlowe's tragedy caused scandal for its openness about Edward II's passion for his 'favourite' Piers Gaveston. This ensemble production includes actor/director Nick Bagnall, associate director of Liverpool's Everyman Theatre, who'll be steering...Drama Thursday February 7 2019 - Saturday April 20 2019
Adjoa Andoh and Lynette Linton are directing a cast of women of colour in a take on Shakespeare's 'Richard II' that focuses on ideas of Britishness. Following the anniversary of the Windrush arrivals, on the eve of Brexit, this production will tell the...Shakespeare Friday February 22 2019 - Sunday April 21 2019
Appearing alongside 'Edward II', this offbeat sequel by Tom Stuart puts the murdered historical king in the unlikely company of Quentin Crisp and Gertrude Stein. 'After Edward' is a 21st century riff on the queer themes present in Christopher Marlowe's...Drama Thursday March 21 2019 - Saturday April 6 2019
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We did he tour which was interesting but over priced and quite short. I would recommend going to see a show instead.
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!