My aim in travelling to some specific countries is to have the feeling that what I have changed is not only a city but also the time that I live in. For some cities, I know this is not possible most of the time but London is one of the perfect cities that can give you that feeling. And there is especially a place in London that will make you completely forget about who you are and where you live in. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is where I’m trying to imply.
When you visit a historic building or get around a historic area, you start to feel that you are time travelling but in a moment or so, a luxury car passes by or you notice a popular chain café at the corner. And the bubble bursts. However, when you enter the Shakespeare’s Globe, although it’s rebuilt in 20th century, you are immediately surrounded with the flow of history, art, theatre and the spirit of Shakespeare. The only thing that can distract you, may be the modern clothing of the other people. Nothing more.
The current building of Shakespeare’s Globe is not the original one actually. The first Globe Theatre was built in the 16th century by Shakespeare’s playing company Lord Chamberlain’s Men. However, owing to an unfortunate accident that occurred during a performance of Henry VIII, it was badly destroyed and had to be rebuilt in 1614. This didn’t mean that Globe Theatre was saved because the strict pressure of Puritan opinion caused the theatre to be demolished in the mid-1600s.
Image Credit: Matt Patterson
Centuries later, in 1970, a new hope was born for Shakespeare’s Globe when Sam Wanamaker, an American actor decided to found Shakespeare Globe Trust and recreate Shakespeare’s Globe at its original place. However the geographical conditions wouldn’t let this to be happen because in Shakespeare’s time, River Thames was much wider than it is now so it had to be located at 230 meters away from its original position. Eventually, the theatre reopened in 1997 and started to stage plays each summer.
Just like the original Globe Theatre, the current one’s top is open and only the stage and the seating areas are covered. That means, if you watch a play standing in front of the stage, you can take a glance at the sky or get wet under the famous English rains. This is also what happened to me when I was watching a play there and it was one of the best moments in my life!
The Globe was built from English oak with tenon and mortise joints that reflects the timber-framed building style of 16th century. The seats are simple wooden benches but you can hire a cushion to watch a play comfortably if you like. The seating capacity is 857 of Globe and 700 people can watch the plays standing in the pit and looking up at the sky. Before or after the show, you can pay a visit to the gift shop, dine at the restaurant or drink something at the lobby. But you may leave the 16th century atmosphere when you leave the stage area, I tell you.
If you are in London between May and October, you will have the chance to watch a play in Shakespeare’s Globe. If you won’t be, don’t be disappointed because the globe is open during all year for visitors. You can check the calendar on the official website of Shakespeare’s Globe and buy your tickets online. Seeing a play at the Globe will definitely make your day in the name of art, history, sightseeing and entertainment.
Main Image Credit: Nil L