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Shakespeare's Globe Theatre London

About the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Opened in 1997 by director and actor Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's Globe gives audiences the opportunity to experience theatrical events 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

The box office is open for ticket collection and enquiries from 11am - 6pm on Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm on Saturdays, and 11am - 5pm on Sundays. Tickets are usually sent electronically, up to one day before your scheduled performance. If you need to collect tickets on the day, this can be done at the box office.
The building 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.
The Swan bar and restaurant is located on-site, 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.
There is no dress code, but 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 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 nearby that 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.
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 the venue. 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.
The box office can be contacted by phone on +44 (0)20 7401 9919 or by email at
The 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 based on a much older theatre with the same name, which opened in 1599. The original 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 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. The current site in modern-day Bankside is located around 750 feet - or one street - away from the site of the original theatre.
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