Globe Theatre tickets are some of the hottest items for sale in London between May and October when performances are offered. The Shakespeare Globe Theatre officially opened its doors in 1997, but the plans to do so had been hatched some twenty years prior. In 1970, Sam Wanamaker founded the Shakespeare Globe Trust with the idea of recreating the Globe Theatre in a faithful and consistent manner in terms of not only design, but also location. The site is close to the site of the original Globe Theatre in the London Borough of Southwark. Shakespeare enthusiasts will be stunned at the accuracy with which the new construct was created once they step foot inside the Globe Theatre. From the thatched roof (the first permitted in London since the Great Fire of 1666) to the thrust stage and faithful reconstruction of the seating arrangement, the new Globe is a spot-on replica of the original Shakespeare Globe Theatre.
Another way in which the designers and artistic directors have ensured that the performances given at the Globe are as authentic and true to the times of Shakespeare as possible is by not amplifying the sound or using artificial light. The performances are either held during the day with only the light of the sun or at night with aid of several interior floodlights. There are no spotlights and actors must project their voices into the crowd without the aid of amplification just as in the time Shakespeare.
The history of the Globe Theatre dates back to the time of the great William Shakespeare, who saw to the construction of a venue that could facilitate performances of his great plays. The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599 by the play company, Lord Chamberlain’s Men. It tragically burnt to the ground in 1613. The fire actually happened as the result of an accident with a cannon during a performance of Henry VIII. The history of the Globe Theatre saw it reopen the next year only to be demolished in 1644 under increasing pressure from Protestant leaders and followers who saw the artistic expression of Shakespeare’s plays as something inherently evil; a black mark on the history of London to be sure.
There is a range of interesting facts about the Globe Theatre. The current Shakespeare Globe Theatre is built entirely of oak and there is no structural steel employed in the construction of the building. The designers who conceived of this strategy realized that this was the only way to truly create an authentic timber-framed building in the style of the 1600s. The thatched roof is well designed with sprinklers and fire retardant materials that ensure another Great Fire does not come along and destroy replica as it did the original. The seating capacity is just under 900 with room for 700 groundlings as well. Although the design is authentic, there is however also a modern lobby, restaurant, and gift shop. The history of the Globe Theatre is rich enough to add a gift shop in order to be able to share bits of it with those who visit this popular tourist attraction. If you love London theater and are planning a trip some time between May and October, consider catching a play at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre. Especially if you enjoy Shakespeare, you will not be disappointed.