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Shakespeare's Globe

Home > London > Fun Things To Do | Literary | Theatre
by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published August 8th 2014
The Place to be (and not to be)
Shakespeare's Globe

Finally that question that has been bugging me for years has finally be answered. What happened to the original Globe Theatre?

The Globe Theatre was originally built by the Lord Chamberlain's Men in 1599. The Lord Chamberlain's Men was William Shakespeare's playing company, who used the theatre for productions during the summer season.

In 1613 they were performing Henry VIII, when a theatrical canon accidentally set the building alight. Although the Globe burnt down, it was rebuilt within a year.

shakespeare's Globe,

This I already knew. So if the Globe was rebuilt, why have we only got a reconstruction remaining today? I Everything was revealed as I took a walk around Shakespeare's Globe. A modern build perhaps, but it looks as though it had just been plucked from Elizabethan England. The founding director, Sam Wanamaker, made every painstaking effort to ensure Shakespeare's Globe remained faithful to the original. From his first concept to its opening in 1997, it took thirty years, but the thatched roof timber structure looks amazing.

shakespeare's Globe,

I have seen it in the near distance on boat trips before, but now for the first time, I have seen Shakespeare's Globe up close. The theatre is a lot bigger than I thought, because it is not just one building. As well as the playhouse, there is a contemporary looking box office, pub, and courtyard.

shakespeare's Globe, timeline

On the box office side wall, is where I got my little history lesson. Yes, the Globe theatre was rebuilt in 1914, but in 1642 - along with many other London theatres - it was closed down by the Puritans in 1642 and knocked down in 1664. Well there's my answer, and I'm not happy. Stupid Puritans destroying our history. I'm just going to glower disapprovingly for a while.

shakespeare's Globe, posters

Along the rest of the wall, there are posters advertising which productions are currently showing. At the moment you can see Troy, Julius Ceasar, A Comedy of Errors, and many more.

shakespeare's Globe, swan pub, the swan at the globe

Opposite the theatre is the Swan Pub, which has a variety of menus, including a la carte, afternoon tea, Sunday lunch, weekend brunch, and theatre dining.

shakespeare's Globe

You can choose to eat inside, but why waste the view? Sit outside with a view of the River Thames, the playhouse, and take a moment to look down, for below your feet, the courtyard hosts a list of names engraved on the flagstones. Among these include Patrick Stewart and Doreen Mantle, which led me to believe it was naming all the actors who had performed there; however, other people like cricketer, David Griffiths also have a slab, so I'm not quite sure.

shakespeare's Globe, exhibition centre

A little further along is the exhibition centre, where you can learn more about the history of the Globe, as well as go on tours. Adult tickets are 13.50, while theatre tickets are between 5 - 42.
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Why? Fun at the theatre
When: Exhibition Centre: 9am - 5.30pm
Phone: 44 (0)20 7401 9919
Where: Bankside
Cost: Theatre: 5-42, Exhibition Centre: 13.50 adult, 12 senior, 11 student, 8 child, free for under 5s
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