What is London? It is five o’clock tea, without fogs and rains and without Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s Globe Theater is considered as the venue that belonged to Shakespeare. In fact, this theater had a difficult fate. It was destroyed and reconstructed several times.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater History
The first Globe (1599) was considered as original and the modern variant of this theater is usually compared to that one that was created by Shakespeare and his playing company. The first Globe had an oval form. The walls were joined with wooden frames and the angles were hidden. There were three galleries in the theater, where rich spectators could seat during the play. They were protected from sun and rain. The stage was situated a little higher over the seats level. The actors were also protected with pillowed overhang from bad weather. Just in front of the stage there was an open area that was unprotected from hot sun or cold wind. The seats here cost just one or two pence and they were usually taken by poor people.
There was no curtain in the theater and the heroes just came to the stage through the back door to act there. There were only male actors at the theater, so young Juliette or Ophelia were performed by teen boys. There were some tricks that helped actors to look natural on the stage. Thus, they used the bottle full of pig blood to pretend the hero was wounded. If the hero was supernatural – it was demon or ghost, it came to the stage from the rope ladder that was fixed to the ceiling. It seemed, this creature had come from heaven.
The roof of the theater was covered with thatch. That’s why one day the building of the theater was on fire as the thatch roof was burned by canon fire that was used by the actors during the performance “Henry VIII”. Later the theater was reconstructed. It was so called the second “Shakespeare’s Globe” that was the distinct copy of the original one. In 1643 it was shut down by Oliver Cromwell because of some political reasons.
In 1997 Shakespeare’s Globe Theater was restored for the third time. Of course, the architects tried to make it similar to the original Globe, but it was impossible to make it the same. For example, specialists argue about the shape of the stage – probably, the original theater had another stage. But the building of modern Globe is situated just 230 m aside from the site of the original theater. The atmosphere of modern Globe resembles that one of Shakespeare’s times.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater Plays
The theater was burned during the play “Henry VIII”. The same play was the first one that was staged in 1997 in the reconstructed Globe Theater. Till now Shakespeare’s plays occupy special place in the repertoire of this theater. For example, if you come to the box office of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, you can get a ticket for his play “Measure to Measure”. It tells about the judge, who had reputation of an honest person. Once he decided to punish one of the citizens for his crime. But the sister of a criminal came to the judge to convince him not to punish her brother. The judge fell in love with the woman and promised to let her brother go, if she spent the night with the judge. The woman wanted to cheat the judge.
The play is very interesting and it is considered as a comedy, although not all events are so humorous there. The other Shakespeare’s play that can be watched at the theater nowadays is “Richard II”. Although most part of plays, acted on the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater belongs to Shakespeare, some of them are written by other playwrights. For example, you can watch the play “Nell Gwynn”, written by Jessica Swale.
The troupe of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater consists of modern talented actors. Some of them work on television and are popular not just in Great Britain, but all over the world. Thus you can watch famous Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who acts as Neil Gwynn, or Graham Buttler. So, if you have some free time, come here to buy the ticket!
The box office of the theater is opened from 9.00 till 17:00 daily. You can go there and get the ticket for the play you like. If you are not in mood to watch the performance, you can come here and see the exhibition, devoted to Shakespeare.
It is opened from 9:00 till 17:00 too. Every day Shakespeare Tours are arranged in the theater. They give the visitors an opportunity to look about the building of the theater and to learn its interesting history.
Of course, you can stay till 19:30 and watch some play here. This time performances usually begin. But the play can be staged at different time, so you should learn the time of the performance you plan to visit in advance.
The address of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater is 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT. It is possible to get their by tube. In this case use London Bridge or Mansion House.
You can use bus routes to get here. They are 45, 63, 100, 15, 17 and many others!
Some people prefer to come by train. In this case it is necessary to get off at the following stations: Blackfriars, London Bridge or Waterloo. If you own an auto, use it to get here – there’s a car park not far from the theater.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater Shops and Restaurants
If you plan to have dinner before or after the play, at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater there’s a bar and a restaurant. Both of them are called “Swan”. It is possible to book there a table, if you have some holiday occasion or just want to have a cup of real English tea and share your impressions about the performance and the theater. There’s the shop just in the theater, where you can get some souvenirs. For example, you can get brochure about the history of the theater or some other souvenirs. For sure, you will never forget your visit to the theater.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater Contacts
If you have any questions as for the show at the theater or as for the exhibition, you can call them.
The phone is : +44 (0) 20 7902 1400. Or write them an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit this theater to feel the spirit of real London!