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  • Day5

    The Globe Tour

    September 8, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We had booked this tour from home, and it was lots of fun. Lauren, our guide, had only just progressed from a probationary tour guide last Friday, and we were one of her first groups. This particular theatre is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed. This theatre was constructed in 1997 and is made predominantly of oak. The original theatre was built in 1599, and was destroyed by fire (caused by a cannon being fired from its attic during a play). It was rebuilt in 1614 and demolished in 1644.

    Shakespeare’s Globe was founded by actor and director Sam Wanamaker, and built about 250 metres from the original site. The theatre is built and maintained by donations, and running tours and shows. The British Government does not provide financial support of any kind. The building is constructed entirely of English oak, even using wooden pegs instead of nails to hold it all together. The roof is thatched - the only structure in London permitted to have such a roof since the Great Fire of London in 1666. One difference from the original is that the pit (standing area, closest to the stage) is concrete instead of earthen-ground covered with strewn rush. The current capacity of the Globe is about 1500, which is about half the size of a typical audience in Shakespeare’s time. Productions run at the Globe from Shakespeare’s Birthday 26 April until October each year. If it rains and you have a ticket in the pit (standing area) you get wet! During the rest of the year they move into an adjacent playhouse.
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