Hg2 : The Hedonist

Shakespeare’s Globe

About theaters in London they say they don’t make them like they used to, but here on the riverside, a group of thesps led by the late American actor Sam Wanamaker did just that. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, originally built at the end of the 16th century, was authentically reconstructed in 1997 right down to the 12 million wooden pegs used to hold the playhouse together, and has the only thatched roof in London since the Great Fire in 1666 – needless to say, the original burnt down (daily tours and an exhibition tell the full story). Even if you despise olde-worlde theatre, the polygonal amphitheatre is incontestably spectacular, with its elaborate jewel-box stage and repro Tudor exterior of oak beams and whitewash. The auditorium comprises the pit for 700 ‘groundlings’ and tiered benches for 900 (though the bard would have packed in a riotous 3,000). The programme is Shakespearean, plus some plays by his contemporaries, as it would have been in Elizabethan times, and those relating to the Tudor era. In fact the most dramatic change to the experience is you, the audience – the throwing of rotten eggs has sadly been consigned to history.

21 New Globe Walk,
+44 20 7902 1400
Opening Times
daily, 10am-5pm Oct-April; 9am-12.30pm May-Sept; exhibition and tour only Σ10.50; performances
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