Located on the banks of the Thames in London, is the reconstructed Globe Theater. While it is a reconstruction, it is built from plans of similar theaters during the time of Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London houses a wonderful exhibit on Elizabethan drama, contains artifacts from the original location, and is a fully functioning theater.
Touring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London
If you are a fan of the works of William Shakespeare, you will find many ways to experience the Bard while in town, but touring London’s Globe Theater should be at the top of your list.
During your tour, a guide explains the history of the original Globe Theater with some great inside knowledge about different productions and details you might not otherwise know.
You will get to walk where the “groundlings” once gathered and also sit where the elite would have sat.
The perspectives you get of the stage are fascinating and your guide will give you the inside scoop on stage setup that you might otherwise overlook.
One of the interesting things about the original Globe Theater is that it burned to the ground in 1613 when a cannon misfired and caught the thatched roof on fire.
Once you walk into the reconstructed theater, you will notice how easy it would be for a theater like this one to catch fire since it is made entirely out of wood.
The reconstructed Globe Theater has been built with fire-protected materials so that lightning doesn’t strike twice!
If you plan on seeing the interior of the Globe Theater, you will need to check out the Shakespeare Globe tour availability in advance.
Because it is still a working theater with performances throughout the day, you want to make sure you can arrive during a time when a Shakespeare Globe tour is possible.
Tours begin every 30 minutes and last about just as long.
Shakespeare Globe Theater Exhibition
Besides the tour of the actual Globe Theater in London, you can also take a self-guided tour of the exhibition area.
The Exhibition has an audio guide that will explain everything that is there.
It takes about an hour to get through the exhibition with the audio guide and it is included in the standard admission price.
In this area, you will find artifacts uncovered from the excavation of the original Globe Theater in London as well as other significant facts about the life of William Shakespeare.
You will find examples of costuming used during productions as well as musical instruments that were played during the time of Shakespeare’s life.
Globe Theater Facts
- The Globe Theater that stands today is only yards away from the original (that burnt down nearly 400 years ago!)
- It could seat nearly 3000 people. Today, guests are offered more legroom!
- Shakespeare mentions the Globe in several of his works. In Henry V, he refers to it as “this wooden O” and in The Tempest, he mentions “the great globe itself.”
- Those standing on the ground in front of the stage were referred to as “groundlings,” and paid a minimal fee to enjoy the play. Today, it is also the cheapest place to see the show!
- The Globe Theater today is built of the same wood as the original, green oak, fastened together with pegs just like the original.
- If you want to know what type of play is being performed all you have to do is look for the flags. A black flag meant a tragedy, white would show comedy & red flag indicated a historical play.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater Tickets
The London Pass is accepted for entry to the Exhibition and Globe Theater Tour so I certainly would recommend you get it.
It is one of our must-haves for going to London because it gets you into so many different museums, and attractions and even gives you a trip on the London Hop on Hop off Bus.
If you want to buy your Shakespeare Globe tickets because you don’t have the London Pass, I would suggest you purchase them in advance.
Looking for something unique to do in addition to the tour?
You can book Tickets for Shakespeare’s Theatre Tour and Exhibition with Optional Afternoon Tea. Adjacent to the theater is a small cafe. You can stop in for A Midsummer Night’s Dream-themed meal at the museum’s cafe either before or after your tour with this option.
You can also take a day trip to Stratford on Avon from London to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace.
Have you visited Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London? What did you enjoy most about it?