Shakespeare's Globe

Located next to Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe is a detailed reconstruction of the theater where many of William Shakespeare's plays were performed.

Standing close to its original site, the reconstruction was initiated by the Shakespeare's Globe Trust, founded by American actor and director Sam Wanamaker. Wanamaker moved to the UK after fearing being blacklisted in Hollywood due to his liberal politics. The original theater was built in 1599, destroyed by a fire in 1613, rebuilt again the year after and then demolished in 1644. The reconstruction is an approximate model of the 1599 and 1614 buildings. One key difference is that the modern version can accommodate only 1,400 spectators, compared to the original number of 3,000. Located in the London Borough of Southwark, the playhouse reflects the complexity of the Elizabethan style. Standing 750 ft high, the reconstruction of the theater was opened to the public in 1997 with a debut production of Henry V. Today, the theater also includes the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a more intimate theater space named after its founder, as well as the Sackler Studios, which serves as an educational and rehearsal studio space. The site also includes an exhibition space about Shakespeare, his life and work.

The original Globe was supposedly named after the Latin totus mundus agit histrionem, attributed to Petronius and roughly meaning "all the world is a playground." It was adapted as the motto of the theater. Built at the very end of the 16th century, the Globe Theater went up in flames during a performance of Henry VIII due to a theatrical cannon that was set off during the play and that hit a wooden beam. It was rebuilt the year after, only to be shut down by Puritans in 1642 and then eventually completely torn down in 1644. Next to staging Shakespearean plays, the replica of the Globe Theater also offers tours of the space as well as hosts writing workshops, courses, and events for every age group. The Globe is open for tours on a daily basis between 9 am and 5 pm. Individual showtimes of productions may vary.