Shakespeare Comes to Life at London’s Globe Theatre
The next time you take a stroll through London, why not make a turn into Bankside and rediscover Shakespeare at London’s Globe Theatre? William Shakespeare is certainly no stranger to most of us. His plays have been immortalized in film and theatre and have survived the 392 years since his death with the greatest ease. Shakespeare himself is known as England’s national poet and is credited with being the greatest writer in the English language. Little wonder then, that authorities in England saw fit to have Shakespeare’s own theatre recreated for the benefit of future generations.
The actual building of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London took place at the instigation of American actor and director Sam Wanamaker. The design was based on the original design of the Globe Theatre and this was the first building in London to be permitted to have a thatched roof since the great Fire of London in 1666. The first Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre was built in 1599, only to be destroyed by fire during one of the performances held there in 1613. It was later rebuilt but enjoyed only a short period of longevity since it was closed by the puritans and later demolished to make way for housing. It is interesting to note that Shakespeare only owned about 7% of the theatre at the time of his death, despite the fact that it was his name that was given to it and his plays that made it famous.
You may already know that there is more than one Globe Theatre around the world. What then, makes this one so special? For starters it is only about 205 meters away from the site where the original Globe Theatre was built – a fact which lends it a greater air of authenticity. It is also built in a part of London where the great playwright himself once walked the streets. Granted, much of London has changed since then – but you may still see street names and buildings that may have existed during Shakespeare’s time.
The modern Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre regularly houses Shakespearean productions during the warmer months (May to October) of the year. It is also home to a theatre company that tours the country, putting on open-air productions of various Shakespearean plays. Nearby the theatre there are a number of affiliated shops and a restaurant. There are also a number of affiliated venues that can be hired out for special functions. However the most memorable aspect of the theatre has to be the performances. So make sure you get to enjoy at least one the next time you visit London!