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The Globe Theatre

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Built in 1599 by William Shakespeare's theatre company in London, the open-air Globe Theatre seated 3,000 and was three stories high. Made of wood, it burned to the ground in 1613 when a cannon shot during a performance of Shakespeare's Henry VIII set the gallery's thatched roof ablaze. A rebuilt Globe operated from 1614 to 1642, when Puritans (led by Oliver Cromwell) closed it as part of a "morality" campaign--along with many (if not all) other London theatres.

The Bard was one of six original owners of the venue, and as others were added to the roster, his share reportedly slid to only about 7% over time.

(pictured: Department 56 Globe Theatre replica)

A modern reconstruction of the Globe opened in 1997, about 750 feet from the original site. It offers wonderful live productions--Shakespeare, of course--for modern audiences. Tours and other educational programs are on tap, too.

More information

Visualize the venue - With diagrams and illustrations...



My son had to create a Globe Theater diagram for a school project and had a surprisingly hard time finding inspiration online. Ultimately he created this labeled drawing with bits & pieces of info he gathered. Came out pretty nice!



Unfortunately no labeling on this one, but it gives a sense of the in-the-round presentation audiences enjoyed.

illustration via



Check out the key for an explanation of different parts of the building, from the multipurpose "Heavens" ceiling above the stage to the entrance where collectors put a penny (bargain, eh?) from each visitor into a collection box -- hence the term "box office."



A brief educational clip ... - from the Kennedy Center

Lively audiences would snack on nuts and compete for attention with the actors onstage, explains a Shakespeare expert in this clip on the Globe Theatre. Several fun details like this are packed into just a couple minutes of video.

Globe Theatre history

These books brings it to life!

Way into the Globe? Check out this cool theatre replica.

Have you toured the modern Globe Theatre reconstruction? Do you love Shakespeare? How's your day going? ;)

Have you visited?

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 01, 2013:

Scroll to Continue

I have yet to see it.

Mary (author) from Chicago area on March 18, 2013:

@anonymous: Under the third drawing, there's a link that says "click here for the key" -- check that out for lots of info on why the theatre was designed the way it was. As far as Shakespeare being boring, my only tips would be to try to get the Folger paperback editions of whatever play(s) you're reading, as they do a good job summarizing each scene and explaining all the language -- and then try to get audio (CD) versions of the play you're reading from your library. It really helps to hear the lines as you read them. Good luck :)

anonymous on March 18, 2013:

i find shakespeare very boring also why does the globe look weird. asdwell coz dis is 4 my english homework n im kindastuck so yh if u could help.

Fcuk Hub on March 13, 2013:

I have been there. Interesting piece of history.

Fcuk Hub on March 13, 2013:

I have been there. Interesting piece of history.

Aunt-Mollie on March 10, 2013:

I think this is the oldest theatre in continuous use. I read every one of Shakespeare's plays in college. He was a genius!

goldenrulecomics from New Jersey on January 18, 2013:

Saw one play there and toured the place several times.

Giovanna from UK on January 07, 2013:

I have been to the Globe many times and seen some wonderful performances. I've also been on a tour and have taken school children there on school trips. But then I do live in London. My wife used to be a drama teacher so she has performed on stage there. And of course we were amazed when they started building it. Thnaks for this very interesting lens.

anonymous on December 02, 2012:

@KimGiancaterino: I love miss marpel!!!

anonymous on December 02, 2012:

@anonymous: Hehe podge

anonymous on December 02, 2012:

@anonymous: I would to as well I love theatre and shakespear!!!

anonymous on December 02, 2012:

@anonymous: Wow lucky I really want to go to the globe it sounds amazing!!

Leah J. Hileman from East Berlin, PA, USA on October 20, 2012:

Have never been but I enjoy Shakespeare and learning about his life and times.

MarcellaCarlton on October 07, 2012:

Fun Lens! I've never visited, but must put it on my bucket list.

sheezie77 on June 04, 2012:

Nice lens thumbs up!

Mary (author) from Chicago area on June 01, 2012:

@anonymous: wow -- now I REALLY want to visit the Globe! what fantastic experiences you had

anonymous on May 31, 2012:

I have toured the modern Globe Theatre and attended a performance as a groundling. It was a wonderful experience, I was a student at LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts) at the time. I also had the opportunity to attend Shakespearean performances in Stratford at the Swan and to participate in master classes with the RSC. It was a dream of a lifetime. To walk down the isle of the church were Shakespeare was baptized, married and now lies buried was unimaginable.

magictricksdotcom on May 27, 2012:

Never been to this theatre. Enjoyed seeing the inside views. Great lens!

CoeGurl on May 25, 2012:

Your son's diagram of the Globe Theatre is charming.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on May 22, 2012:

I have never had the opportunity to visit the Globe Theatre, but I do enjoy (some) Shakespeare. Nice lens

terrym2442 on May 07, 2012:

I never knew all this. Thanks for the great info!

Anna2of5 on May 03, 2012:

I've been to Bath in England, I may have been to Stratford upon Avon in England too. It would have been a day trip while i was over there in 1990. I like the cheekyness of Shakespeare, once you get past the hard parts of the dialogue, there's oftentimes little pockets of humor to ease the load for the spectator or perhaps it was more fun for him to write it that way. Have you seen A Midsummer Night's Dream with Kevin Kline as Bottom? If not I recommend it. He does a good job and it's a plush cast. I don't recall the rating though. I saw the play in London while there studying theatre for a semester- the play featured punks as elves full on with chains studded neckwear, and wings (I think) very fun! A good version of Hamlet is the one with Mel Gibson (before his struggles with alcohol...) The blocking and the sets make it make sense. Italian costumers, and director did a good job, Its nice to look at. Which helps. I used exerpts from that movie to illuminate the play for my co-op drama class. The boys wanted action and adventure, and hadn't quite belived that Shakespeare could deliver. It worked! :)

I'm exhausted but only a few more weeks left till the end of this school year. :)

Thanks for asking.

Sincerely, Anna2of5

anonymous on April 23, 2012:

helped tremendously thanks(:

anonymous on April 23, 2012:

Yes its very nice i guess

LeslieMirror on April 19, 2012:

I want to see it so much. Globe theater is some kind of magical place for me

anonymous on March 27, 2012:

very useful diagrams used for school project - thanks

dahlia369 on March 20, 2012:

No, I've never been there - until this virtual visit via your lens. Thank you for sharing the images of that majestic building - and its history!

anonymous on March 20, 2012:

used it for a school project tnx

anonymous on March 19, 2012:

I would love to go for a School Drama trip, it would be so cool to see what it would be like in Shakespeares time!

anonymous on March 17, 2012:

I would love to see the modern Globe. How neat it would be to see a Shakespeare play performed there!

myamya on March 17, 2012:

No, but i hope i will. Btw, very nice lens! thumbs up

anonymous on March 15, 2012:


Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on March 01, 2012:

I have never been there but would love to see it someday, along with all the other stuff in the UK. Blessed by a Squid Angel

AJ from Australia on February 29, 2012:

Where would we all be without the Globe?

anonymous on February 25, 2012:

nope. Im workin on it. i like actin it out though. luv drama. and my days going fine thxz!

anonymous on February 25, 2012:

nope. Im workin on it. i like actin it out though. luv drama. and my days going fine thxz!

Mark Falco from Reno, Nevada on February 14, 2012:

I've peeked through the outside a few times but haven't made it inside yet. I plan on actually taking the tour next time I'm in London.

jimmyworldstar on January 30, 2012:

It'd be great if the Globe Theatre lasted as long as its original incarnation. I like Shakespeare's plays when they're performed but I don't read any of them.

nikyweber on January 30, 2012:

Very nice lens! squidlike!

Mary (author) from Chicago area on January 24, 2012:

@greenmind: that is too funny!

GreenMind Guides from USA on January 24, 2012:

I've been here! Also one of my students once referred to Shakespeare as "The Bird of Avon." Good stuff.

kathysart on January 12, 2012:

Lovely lens and tribute. Angel blessed!

anonymous on January 08, 2012:

this doesn't tell u a lot of things i need to use for work about shakespeares globe theater

RinchenChodron on January 03, 2012:

No I haven't since I live in the US - but now I would lie to see it. My day is going fine. I'm neutral on Shakespeare.

anonymous on January 03, 2012:


vitralyoz on November 29, 2011:

i like this lense

Rhonda Albom from New Zealand on November 15, 2011:

Someday, hopefully I will visit the Globe theatre. Great lens. Love the addition of your son's drawing. Blessed.

NevermoreShirts on September 22, 2011:

Definitely on my bucket list of places I want to visit. Great lens.

Michael Craig - Copernicus Films from Moscow on September 06, 2011:

Good to find information here about this theatre. Like the diagrams especially

KimGiancaterino on May 13, 2011:

I love theatres with trap doors. We recently watched a B&W Miss Marple mystery that took place in a big theatre like this. Very nice ... I love the drawings!

cdevries on May 11, 2011:

I love the cut-away diagrams especially.

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