Once in London, there is a place where those who love theatre surely will want to see: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. At the present time, it hosts several international performances and attending one of those would be a surplus value to your holidays. However, if you have not this luck, a guided visit can be a good experience.
A bit of history
That that nowadays we find in the Bankside’s Cultural Quarter is not the original theatre of Shakespeare’s time. Indeed, the first building called The Glode was built in 1599 not so far away from the one of our time. Then, to watch performances the price was 1 penny for standing places in the arena and 2 pennies for seats in the galleries. These latter were covered by a straw roof. This particular structure helped for a better natural lighting during performances in the day.
As many of you may know, this theatre was destroyed by a fire in 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII and was rebuilt in 1614, this time with a tiled roof! Later, this building also was demolished in 1644, not used since 1642.
The present theatre
In 1949, the American actor and director Sam Wanamaker visited London. He promoted the rebuilding of the new Globe Theatre. So, in 1987 works started and in 1999 Shakespeare’s Globe was inaugurated.
Tour and exhibition
It is possible to visit the theatre paying a ticket of £13.50 (€18.79). Yes, it is a bit expensive, but it is worth! The tour includes the exhibition of original stage costumes and objects with virtual explanations of the organization of the theatre during performances at Shakespeare’s time and a proper visit of the theatre (and if you are lucky enough, you may find a group of dramatic arts students making rehearsals on the stage). Besides, you will learn how actors dressed: dressing alone was not feasible! Lastly, you can grab some souvenirs in the shop of the theatre.
Having studied English literature for all my life, loving theatre and Shakespeare’s works, obviously I could not miss a visit in this institution. I have already written how I love to visit theatres. This one has stolen my heart: staying in the gallery during the explanation of the guide had a certain effect. Not having the possibility to watch a performance, it is the only thing I regret. I have a good excuse to go there again, haven’t I?
The theatre is open every day from 10.00 to 18.00 and tours start every 15-30 minutes. You can find more information about prices and shows on the website of the theatre: www.shakespearesglobe.com