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|
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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Things to do
Storytelling at Shakespeare's Globe
Bring some of your favourite Shakespeare characters to life this half term with a special series of storytelling performances. Join author Kate Pankhurst as she tells tales from her new book, poet Kevin Crossley-Holland will perform stories from his newest...Performances Tuesday February 19 2019 - Saturday February 23 2019
Things to do
Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders
Illustrator, author and suffragette descendant Kate Pankhurst heads to Shakespeare’s Globe to host this workshop for kids. She’ll delve into the stories of history’s trailblazing women, from pantaloon-eschewing swimmer Annette Kellerman to mould-breaking...Talks and lectures Tuesday February 19 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
‘Edward II’ review
Christopher Marlowe’s play about a foolish king, madly in love with his ‘minion’ Piers Gaveston, and the outraged court who seek to get rid of them both, finds flaws on both sides. The sneering snobbery of the earls who take against Gaveston for being...Drama Monday February 25 2019 - Saturday April 20 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
Henry IV Part 1, or Hotspur
Globe boss Michelle Terry is kicking off her new season with a return for one of Shakespeare's best-known history plays, 'Henry IV'. It's a story that's central to British identity, with its story of friendship and king-making, and its fistfuls of quotable...Shakespeare Tuesday April 23 2019 - Friday October 11 2019
Henry IV Part 2, or Falstaff
The second instalment of Globe boss Michelle Terry's take on one of Shakespeare's best-known history plays, 'Henry IV', centres on Falstaff. This celebrated comic role will be played by Helen Schlesinger, who'll perform alongside Sarah Amankwah as her...Shakespeare Thursday April 25 2019 - Friday October 11 2019
Henry V, or Harry England
Shakespeare's Globe is capping off its trilogy of Harry-centric plays with 'Henry V', the story of what happens when he finally becomes king. Sarah Amankwah takes the title role in a gender-swapped retelling of the story of Henry's triumphant victory...Shakespeare Tuesday April 30 2019 - Friday October 11 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!
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