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Shakespeare's Globe Theatre London

What's on at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

About the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Opened in 1997 by director and actor Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's Globe gives audiences the opportunity to experience theatre in a way no other venue can replicate.

The building sits close to the site of the first Globe Theatre, which opened in 1599. Wanamaker wanted to match the dimensions, materials and playing conditions of the original as closely as possible and worked tirelessly for over 20 years to achieve his vision. 

The Globe is constructed entirely from timber and natural materials, with a thatched roof - the first permitted in London since the Great Fire of 1666 - and thrust stage. Visitors can sit on benches or stand in the yard as "Groundlings" during the venue’s summer performance season. Over the winter months, visitors to Shakespeare's Globe can enjoy candlelit performances at the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Artistic Directors at the Globe include Academy Award winning actor Mark Rylance and theatre practitioner Emma Rice. Rice‘s tenure lasted just a few months; the board cited concerns over authenticity and the use of lighting technology in this decision. 

The Globe Theatre programme includes Shakespeare's plays and brand new writing. It has produced many hugely successful productions, including Morgan Lloyd-Malcom’s Emilia and Lucy Bailey’s notoriously gory staging of Titus Andronicus, which made headlines for the number of Groundlings fainting during its run.

Plan your visit

Shakespeare’s Globe is open daily from 10am for pre-booked guided tours, which can be enjoyed before attending a show. It is advised that you arrive at the theatre at least half an hour before the start of a performance, to allow time for security checks and getting to your seats.
There is no dress code at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; the venue is an open-air theatre, and performances go ahead in most conditions. It is therefore best to dress for the weather. Please note that umbrellas are not allowed to be opened in the theatre.
The Globe Theatre’s cloakroom is currently closed. Visitors can take bags up to 40cm x 35cm x 19cm into the building, and any bags larger than this must be stored off site. There are exceptions for larger bags containing medical or childcare equipment. 

Luggage storage facilities such as Stasher have locations close to the Globe which will accept larger bags, including Premier Inn (Bankside) and Premier Inn (Tate Modern). Spaces must be pre-booked, and prices start at £6 for one bag.
There are various security measures at the Globe Theatre to ensure the comfort and safety of all on site. Bag checks will be in place before performances, so please arrive in plenty of time to avoid missing the start of the performance. There may also be police presence, in line with the venue’s liaisons with the Metropolitan Police.
The Swan bar and restaurant is located on-site at Shakespeare’s Globe, offering seasonal menus for pre-theatre dining and refreshments. Theatregoers can also take drinks ordered at the bar into the auditorium.

The Swan bar is open from 10.30am daily, with last orders at 10pm. The restaurant is open from 12pm - 9.45pm on Monday - Saturday and 12pm - 6pm on Sundays.
The on-site Swan restaurant has seasonal lunch and dinner menus, whilst nearby Borough Market has a variety of global food vendors and restaurants including Levantine outlet Arabica. Other options in Bankside include Mediterranean restaurant The Real Greek and burger and BBQ joint, Porkys.
Native Bankside is a hotel and aparthotel complex in a converted Victorian warehouse, located very close to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Rooms are relaxed and stylish, offering a boutique hotel environment with lots of cultural attractions nearby. There are also a range of mid and low-budget hotels such as Ibis Southwark and Premier Inn Bankside within walking distance of the theatre.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre opened in 1997, and 2022 marks its 25th year as a performance venue. It was the passion project of actor and director Sam Wanamaker, who worked for 20 years, with the help of historical advisors and architects, to replicate the style and materials of Elizabethan playhouses.

The Globe is is based on a much older theatre with the same name, which opened in 1599. The original Globe Theatre was built by the Lord Chamberlain's Men, an acting company that Shakespeare had often performed with. The theatre became heavily associated with Shakespeare's work, and many of his best-known plays such as Hamlet and Othello were performed there during his lifetime.

In 1613, the Globe Theatre burned down when a theatrical cannon misfired during a performance of Henry VIII. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1614 on the same site. It was later closed by the Puritan government in 1642, and pulled down in 1644. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in modern-day Bankside is located around 750 feet - or one street - away from the site of the original theatre.

Help booking tickets

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre sends tickets electronically, up to one day before your scheduled performance. If you need to collect tickets on the day, this can be done at the theatre's box office.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre box office is open for ticket collection and enquiries from 11am - 6pm on Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm on Saturdays, and 11am - 5pm on Sundays.
The Globe Theatre box office 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.
The Globe Theatre’s spaces can be booked for meetings, dinners, receptions and other experiences, with up to 450 guests. Spaces include the Underglobe events space, beneath the venue, and the Balcony Room. For full details and pricing, please contact us on 020 7928 9444 or email enquiries@swanlondon.co.uk.
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