Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

History and contemporary existence of this London theatre is inseparably associated with Shakespeare's name. The history of the theatre and its construction on the south bank of the river Thames united its three 'lives' and three buildings. The original theatre was built in 1599; Shakespeare played there and wrote plays for that theatre. The name comes from the statue that stood in front of the entrance to the theatre. It portrayed the ancient Greek mythological character - Titan Atlas that supported the globe. The original theatre reminded Roman amphitheatre - round arena without the roof surrounded by a tall wall along the perimeter. The stage was located from the backside of the building. Up to 3 thousand spectators came to see the plays. Such primitive design of the area presupposed that play of the actors and the magic of drama art were the principle and significant things on the stage.

In 1613 during the first night of Shakespeare's play Henry VIII the spark from the theatre's gun started the fire and the building burnt down. A year after, the building was rebuilt and showed spectators the plays but later it was demolished. Contemporary theatre was shaped in 1997 when very close to the original location the new Shakespeare's Globe was constructed in accordance with the discovered drafts and drawings. The new building still has the thatched roof, three levels of balconies and standing places at the stage but possesses the lighting equipment. Not far away, there is a park-museum that displays unique items devoted to the great drama playwright. Visitors can take part in exciting educational and creative events.

Theatre works May through October but thanks to the project ‘Globe to Globe. Hamlet’ actors perform in the plays during the world tour, giving thousands of spectators the joy of meeting and seeing the immortal heritage of Shakespeare. Building of the theatre is open year round for visits and excursions providing tourists with the opportunity to feel the fascinating spirit of Shakespeare's time. One can try what it is like to be the famous actor and speak out the well-known words and motto of the Globe Theatre: 'All the world's a stage and we are merely players.'

Tickets can be booked in advance at theatre's website, the excursions are below £15. Close to the theatre, there is the restaurant and bar of contemporary British cuisine, called Swan. It has the beautiful interior, one can have a good meal during the day or before the performance but also enjoy the magnificent views of the Thames. Shakespeare's company also performed in Rose Theatre, in 56 Park Street, 5 minutes away from the Globe Theatre.

Address: 21 New Globe Walk
Opening hours: visits to the theatre and exhibition Mon-Sun 9 am – 5 pm, excursions Mon-Sun 9:30 am – 5 pm, booking office Mon-Sun 10 am – 6 pm, closed Dec 24-26.
How to reach: tube Blackfriars, Southwark, London Bridge, St. Paul's; bus 11, 15, 17, 23, 26, 45, 63, 76, 100, 344, 381, RV1; Bankside Pier.
Coordinates: 51.50806, -0.09713