June 12th – According to the Shakespearean scholar Steve Sohmer, on this day in 1599, the original “Globe” was opened in Southwark. Also, on this day in 1997, Sam Wanamaker’s reconstructed “Globe” was officially opened by the Queen.
The original “Globe” was built by the theatrical impresario Cuthbert Burbage, using some materials salvaged from his father James’s “The Theatre” in Shoreditch, after the expiry of the lease on that latter property (see also postings here and here).
It was later burnt down in a fire in 1613, after sparks from a theatrical cannon set some thatch alight during a performance of Shakespeare’s “Henry the Eighth”; re-built in 1614; fell into disuse sometime around 1642, when the performance of plays was banned, by order of the Puritans; and was finally demolished in 1644, again by order of the Puritans (see also posting here ).
The gallery below (photos by Bob Jones) features both of the plaques marking the Globe’s original site, and also includes images of the reconstructed Globe, built on the Bankside quite near to that spot. The reconstruction (fruition of many years’ effort by Sam Wanamaker) opened in 1997.
The site of the original “Globe” – “Shakespeare’s (own) play-house, and the venue where many of his plays were first performed”– is visited on our “Historic Southwark” standard walk, and on our “Tudor and Stuart London” themed special (together with the reconstruction).
Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of our web-site. Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by phone (020-8998-3051).