The Bard-approved theatre that stages proper period dramas
All the world’s a stage, according to William Shakespeare, but very few of them received investment from the Bard himself. The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599, around 750 feet from the current site, using timber from a demolished Shoreditch playhouse. This site on the south bank of the River Thames was chosen to rival the nearby Rose Theatre and the ambitious relocation was funded by selling shares in the Globe – Shakespeare being one of four actors in the troupe to take up the option.
The first Globe lasted 14 years before a fire broke out during a performance of Henry VIII, while the second iteration didn’t fare much better, as it was demolished in 1644 to make way for tenement housing. The current theatre mimics the original, open-air design and was opened in 1997 by Queen Elizabeth II. Look out for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a more intimate Jacobean theatre in the same complex that stages atmospheric, candlelit performances.