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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‘Vivaldi's The Four Seasons: A Reimagining’ review
Technically Emma Rice’s final original piece of programming at the Globe, ‘Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: A Reimagining’ isn’t some sort of pointed kiss-off but rather an agreeable curio. Put simply, it’s Vivaldi’s timeless violin concerti performed in British-German...Puppetry Until 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
Well this is undoubtedly a big deal: after sitting out Emma Rice's entire tenure (admittedly it wasn't very long), the Globe's talismanic former artistic director Mark Rylance returns to his old theatre to star as the villainous Iago in Shakespeare's...Shakespeare Friday July 20 2018 - Saturday October 13 2018
Shakespeare addressed many of his sonnets to 'The Dark Lady'. But who was she? One likely candidate is Emilia Bassano, a published poet and member of court. Morgan Lloyd Malcolm's new play reveals a forgotten woman, and pulls her out from Shakespeare's...Drama Friday August 10 2018 - Saturday September 1 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!