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Sam Wanamaker Playhouse London

About the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse London opened in January 2014 as a faithful replica of 17th century candlelit theatres. It is located on the same site as the Globe Theatre, and usually hosts performances during the colder months. 

Shakespeare's Globe Founder Sam Wanamaker always envisioned an indoor theatre to complement the open-air Globe, and the Playhouse's red brick shell was already in place when the Globe Theatre opened in 1997. It was used as a workshop and rehearsal space for many years before work to convert it into an active venue began in 2012. The Globe’s Architecture Research Group and architects Allies & Morrison consulted sketches of real Jacobean playhouses to create an accurate performance space. 

The playhouse is an intimate venue with a green oak frame. It is lit by over 100 beeswax candles and has authentic design features including wood carvings and benched seating. Look up as you enter: the beautiful painted ceiling depicts the moon goddess Luna amongst clouds, created by a team led by artist Zaza Opperman. 

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opened with a revival of the Jacobean tragedy The Duchess of Malfi. It has hosted several acclaimed productions including Farinelli and the King starring Mark Rylance.

Plan your visit

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is part of Shakespeare’s Globe, which opens daily from 10am. Try to arrive at the theatre at least 30 minutes before the start of your performance to get through security checks and reach your seats.
There is no dress code for visitors to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. If you have a standing ticket, it is best to wear comfortable shoes - you will be on your feet for at least an hour at a time.
There is air-conditioning at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, to prevent the theatre from becoming too warm.
The cloakroom at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is currently closed. Visitors can take bags up to 40cm x 35cm x 19cm into the building. There are also exceptions for larger bags containing medical or childcare equipment. 

There are many luggage storage facilities local to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse for larger bags such as Stasher and Luggage Hero. Locations and pre-booking are available online.
Bag checks are in operation at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, so please arrive in plenty of time to pass through these. There are various other measures at the theatre to ensure the safety and comfort of guests, including a uniformed security presence.
There is a bar on the upper level of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and theatregoers can take drinks into the auditorium. The Swan bar and restaurant is also located on-site, with seasonal menus for pre-theatre dining and refreshments.
Borough Market is a short walk away from the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and has a wide range of sit-down and street food dining including Middle Eastern mezze outlet Arabica and Italian spot La Tua Pasta. There are also plenty of popular chain restaurants along Bankside including Wagamama and Pizza Express.
If you are visiting the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on a budget, Ibis Southwark is great for simple, comfortable rooms within walking distance of the theatre. For more of a treat, The Hoxton in Southwark boasts a modern, creative design with an on-site all day bar and restaurant.
The Sam Wanamaker Theatre opened in January 2014 as a complementary venue for the Globe Theatre. Founder Sam Wanamaker (who the theatre is named after) always planned to have an indoor venue as well as the outdoor Globe Theatre, but it was not until 2012 that work began to create the indoor performance space.
The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and Shakespeare’ Globe are two different theatres located on the same site in Bankside, London. Both theatres are owned by the same company. Unlike Shakespeare’s Globe which is an open-air outdoor theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is an indoor venue. It is lit by candlelight and based on the 16th century Blackfriars Theatre. 

Shakespeare's Globe usually operates during the summer and the Sam Wanamaker during winter, but they sometimes share seasons.

Help booking tickets

Tickets for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse can be collected on the day at the box office. Tickets are also sent electronically to the email address you booked with, up to one day before your scheduled performance.
The Sam Wanamaker box office is open for general and ticketing enquiries between 11am - 6pm on Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm on Saturdays, and 11am - 5pm on Sundays.
The box office for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse London can be contacted by phone on +44 (0)20 7401 9919 or by email at tickets@shakespearesglobe.com.
STAR (Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) is the industry body that regulates the sale of London theatre tickets. When booking from a company you can check the STAR database to see if they are registered and conforming to STAR practices. When buying online, you should also check for the padlock in your browser URL bar to ensure the connection is secure.
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse corporate hospitality packages are available on request at rebecca.g@shakespearesglobe.com.

Shakespeare’s Globe has many other spaces including the Underglobe and the Balcony Room, which can be booked for meetings, receptions and other private events. For more details and prices, please contact us by phone on 020 7928 9444 or email enquiries@swanlondon.co.uk.
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