Shakespeare's Globe: A Must-Visit for Theatre Lovers
Experience the Magic of Shakespearean Theatre
· 3 min read
Step into the world of Shakespeare and experience the thrill of live theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Home to one of the most iconic theatres in London and the only candle-lit theatre in London, be prepared for one of the most unique theatre experiences in London.
he Shakespeare’s Globe is more than just a museum — it is home to two living, breathing theatre that comes alive with plays: the iconic outdoor Globe Theatre, and the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse right next to it.
The Globe first opened its doors in 1599, and quickly became one of the most important venues in London. It was there that many of Shakespeare's greatest works were first performed, including "Hamlet," "Macbeth," and "Othello." However, the original theatre was destroyed by fire in 1613, and was later rebuilt in 1614. Sadly, this new theatre was also demolished in 1644.
Today, the Globe Theatre that only opened in 1997 is a faithful replica of the original theatre, with capacity for over 1,500 people. Of which, there is a standing area for 700, and the rest are seated.
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse only opened in 2014, although there was always an intention for Shakespeare’s Globe to include an indoor theatre. The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is not a reconstruction of any venue, but it echoes the Blackfriars Playhouse that the Shakespeare’s theatre company used from 1609. Based on indoor candlelit theatres known to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, the playhouse is lit by over one hundred beeswax candles. Its main theatrical season runs from October to April but there’s a programme of events all through the summer, too.
Visiting The Globe Theatre
There are two main ways to visit The Globe Theatre - either you watch a play in the theatre or go on a guided tour where you can learn more about the theatre.
Watch a play at the Globe Theatre
Shakespeare called his theatre a ‘wooden O’ and like his historic playhouse, the Globe Theatre is a 360° auditorium. One of the most unique things about watching a play at the Globe Theatre is that unlike other theatres, standing tickets actually offer you the best view and the most fun. As a groundling, you can expect to have much more interaction and engagement with those on stage. And the best part — standing tickets are the cheapest at just £5 or £10.
If you are watching a play at the Globe Theatre, definitely consider watching it as a groundling for one of the most classic experiences. But take note that there is no roof over the central yard, and the theatre is open-air. Shows will go ahead rain or shine, so make sure you are appropriately dressed for the weather! You should also assess if you will be comfortable standing for the entire duration of the show.
💡Pro-tip: If you are unable to get a standing ticket for your desired date, try your luck at getting one of the £5 rush tickets, even for sold-out shows! These rush tickets are released every Friday at 11am for shows in the following week and are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Join a guided tour of the Globe Theatre
Since the theatre is a working theatre, you can’t just walk in to visit if you are not watching a play. But the Shakespeare’s Globe also offers a number of guided tours, where you can learn about the theatre's rich history. You will also be allowed access to a self-guided exhibition area, a treasure trove of fascinating artefacts, including costumes, props, and other memorabilia related to Shakespeare and the theatre.
The tours run hourly and you can purchase your tickets online in advance. Do note that certain restrictions like photography may apply during your tour due to the working nature of the theatre.
If you are looking for something more unique, Shakespeare’s Globe also offers themed tours that suitable for families.
Shakespeare’s Globe also offers many other experiences for those who are interested to explore more about theatre.
- Shakespeare’s Walking Tour: On this tour, you will explore the sights and area at Bankside, London’s original theatre district. This is a walking tour across Bankside and does not include a visit to the Globe Theatre.
- Young Actors Courses: Shakespeare’s Globe also offers a series of courses for children who have an interest in performing. Children will learn about tips to get into character, and also have a chance at performing and playing scenes. Note that the courses span across a few of days.
- Events and Workshops: There will also regularly be events and workshops held for families and children to discover and explore theatre while having fun.
🗺️ Address: 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT
🚆 Getting there: The nearest tube stations are the London Bridge (9 minute walk); Blackfriars (10 minute walk); Mansion House (10 minute walk); Southwark(15 minute walk); St Paul’s (15 minute walk).
🕤 Opening Hours: Opens for performances and tours.
📅 What’s on: https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/whats-on/