The Globe Theatre
21 New Globe Walk
London SE1 9DT
TfL Fare Zone1
Situated on the south bank of the River Thames just 200 yards (183 metres) from its original site is the faithful reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
We have the American actor and director, Sam Wanamaker to thank for this unique reconstruction close to its original site on Bankside.
In the 1940s Sam Wanamaker was distressed to find there was nothing to mark the site of the world’s greatest playwright’s Theatre. He decided that an appropriate tribute to William Shakespeare would be to rebuild his Globe Theatre.
It took a very long time to fulfil this dream but with the help of American financial backers and the Globe Playhouse Trust the dream finally became a reality when the reconstructed Globe opened in 1997. Unfortunately Sam Wanamaker did not live long enough to witness this accomplishment.
The Theatre is an exact replica in every way.
It has the same dimensions, design and is built of the same materials as the 16th century original. The building is half-timbered, the oak beams pegged together and in-filled with plaster and goat hair and handmade bricks. It is a 20 sided building giving the impression of being round. The roof is thatched with Norfolk reeds and does not cover the whole of the audience pit.
Inside there are tiers of wooden seats under cover of the thatch but in the middle the promenade area is open to the elements. The stage is also covered by the thatch and the back wall is elaborately carved and highly decorated in the classical style. There are three entrances on to the stage. The front of the stage is marked by two gigantic oak pillars painted to look like marble.
William Shakespeare's Plays
The actors played three-quarters in the round and students of Shakespeare’s plays will have noted that often statements are repeated three times as in ‘Julius Caesar’ – “Friends! Romans! Countrymen!” The actor would face the audience as he spoke each word, turning from the side to the front and then the other side.
Performances were enhanced with sound and visual effects, use of actors entering on ropes from the roof of the stage or appearing through trapdoors in the stage. Performances are conducted in the same way that Shakespeare would have conducted them.
It is well worth paying for a tour of the theatre which also includes the wonderful exhibition in the undercroft beneath.
The Theatre Season runs from May to early October each year.
There are no theatre tours during performances. Tourists are then taken for a tour of the nearby excavation site of The Rose Theatre where Christopher Marlowe’s plays were performed. The Rose is the only Elizabethan theatre to have been archeologically excavated.
Theatre Tours & Exhibition
Open all year except 24th and 25th December.
Tours leave every 15-30 minutes after opening time.
For opening times and booking, refer to the Theatre website
Individuals or groups of fewer than 15 people do not need to book in advance.
Contact Theatre Box Office
Tel +44 (0)2074 019 919
Web - Box Office: Globe Theatre Box Office
Disability Access Information Line
Tel + 44 (0)2079 024 409
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)2079 021 400
TfL Fare Zone 1 Transport for London Journey Planner
The Globe website has excellent directions on getting to the Theatre plus Google map.