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.
Map and directions
Plan your visit
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.
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 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.