Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

The current open air playhouse, The Globe Theatre is an incredible reproduction of the open air theatre that was originally built upon this site in 1599.  This is where it is believed that the Bard himself, William Shakespeare not only worked, but also wrote many of his great literary works.  This building is a faithful reproduction of the original building that was sited here, based upon authentic drawings and accounts of the theatre from period publications and art works, as well as archaeological information and finds.  The new Globe Theatre building opened its doors to the public in 1997.

Photo by Jeff Hitchcock
Photo by Jeff Hitchcock

Theatre Tour and Exhibition

The Globe Theatre is regarded as the world’s biggest visitor based experience that is solely devoted to William Shakespeare, and the city and time in which his lived, worked and created his masterpieces.  The Theatre offers visitors a not only informative but also engaging exhibition that charts the incredible story of the Globe Theatre.  The use of interactive exhibitions in the space beneath the theatre proper, as well as and hands on demonstrations allows the world that William Shakespeare lived in to be brought to life before your eyes, giving visitors an understanding of what life was like in the city during Shakespeare’s time.

Here you will learn about the costumes and the musical instruments of the Renaissance that were used in the theatre, and get to see some of the more extravagant Elizabethan costumes.  As well as all of the exhibits and interactive displays the experience also offers a full thirty minute guided tour of the Globe Theatre itself.  Led by experienced story tellers the guides will reveal a fascinating side of the theatre that will entertain and inform.

The Rose Tour

Built back in 1587, before the construction of the original Globe Theatre, the Rose Theatre is where historians and academics believe that Shakespeare was employed as an actor, and where he staged many of his earlier works.  It is probably due to this literary heritage that has made it the only Elizabethan playhouse that has been extensively investigated by archaeologists.  A guided tour of the site will include a walking tour of the Bankside which involves the highlighting of many historical landmarks en route.

Useful Information

Visitors to the Globe should be aware that during matinee performances there is no access to the theatre for the theatre part of the tour, visitors arriving during performances will instead be taken to the site of the Rose Theatre, the first open air playhouse along the Bankside.  During the theatre season tours are limited because of the many performances taking place, visitors will only be granted access to the exhibition and access may also be restricted at times due to rehearsals.  However the attraction is open all year round and visitors should contact the Globe Theatre to see if the tours are running or whether there are performances taking place as the times they would like to visit.

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