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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Romeo and Juliet
You would have to have been exiled to Verona to be unaware of the Globe’s recent troubles, wherein its artistic director Emma Rice – who only started last year – has been forced out by the theatre’s board, who objected to her penchant for using electric...Shakespeare Until Sunday July 9 2017
Here it is, then. Barely a year after she directed her first Shakespeare play for the Globe, this ‘Twelfth Night’ marks artistic director Emma Rice’s second and last for the outdoor theatre. Pending her final, indoor season, it may be her last show for...Shakespeare Monday June 26 2017 - Saturday August 5 2017
Mark Steel: Who Do I Think I Am?
Mark Steel, comic, newspaper columnist and one-time member of the Socialist Workers Party, is best known for his strident political beliefs. His magnetic stand-up – full of aggressive (yet surprisingly cheerful!) irony at The State We’re In – rails against...Stand-up Wednesday June 28 2017
Much Ado About Nothing
After his explosive gangland reimagining of 'Cymbeline', last year's 'Imogen', Matthew Dunster is reimagining well-loved comedy 'Much Ado About Nothing'. It's a play that's famous for its pair of warring lovers, Beatrice and Benedick. Dunster's amped...Shakespeare Friday July 14 2017 - Sunday October 15 2017
As artistic director of Shared Experience, Nancy Meckler is known for using physical theatre to imagine characters' inner lives. Shakespeare's tragedy 'King Lear', her debut Globe show, will throw up plenty of psychological complexities to work with. She'll...Shakespeare Thursday August 10 2017 - Saturday October 14 2017
The Globe is taking a break from all that Shakespeare with this fearsome new play by Tristan Bernays. As the name suggests, it's a look at the Celtic warrior queen who fought the Romans for the throne they denied her. Bernays is having a bit of a moment:...Drama Friday September 8 2017 - Sunday October 1 2017
This swoon-worthy start to Emma Rice's final season at Shakespeare's Globe is a musical she's been developing for ages. It's an adaptation of French-Belgian movie romcom 'Les Émotifs Anonymes', about two painfully shy people who bond over a shared love...Musicals Friday October 20 2017 - Saturday January 6 2018
The Secret Theatre
This historical spy drama is inspired by the story of Sir Francis Walsingham, who oversaw Queen Elizabeth I's vast surveillance network. Expect skullduggery, double-crossing and blackmail galore in Anders Lustgarten's new thriller. 'The Secret Theatre'...Drama Thursday November 16 2017 - Saturday December 16 2017
After her star turn as Titania in Emma Rice's 2016 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', cabaret star Meow Meow is back at Shakespeare's Globe for Christmas. This festive show will mix her trademark fiesty renditions of jazz and pop classics with plenty of surreal...Cabaret and burlesque Wednesday December 20 2017 - Sunday December 31 2017
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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!