“This Woodden O” (Shakespeare’s “Globe”)

1 - Old plaque marking site of original Globe

2 - New plaque

According to the Shakespearean scholar Steve Sohner, on this day in 1599, the original  “Globe” – “Shakespeare’s (own) play-house, and the venue where many of his plays were first performed” – was opened in Southwark.   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 April 13th posting).   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 June 29th and April 15th postings).

3 - Sam Wanamaker at The Globe, Southwark, in 1947 - Copy

4 - Wanamaker's reconstructed Globe

5 - Wrought-iron gates

15 - Wanamaker Playhouse (inside reconstructed Globe), a model for the Blackfriars Theatre

Also, on this day in 1997, Sam Wanamaker’s reconstructed “Globe” was officially opened by the Queen.

The sites of both are visited on our “Historic Southwark” standard walk, and on our “Tudor and Stuart London” themed special.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Our Guided Walks” section of our web-site (www.lostcityoflondon.co.uk).

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site (www.lostcityoflondon.co.uk), by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

2 thoughts on ““This Woodden O” (Shakespeare’s “Globe”)

  1. rafterd1972

    Always interesting to follow the history of Shakespeare and his plays. Many years ago I took a busload of high school students to see the movie version of one of his plays.( don’t remember which one.) This was centuries ago. What I do remember is the monsoon type rain that was pouring down as we left the theatre. We had 15 miles to go in the bus and then in the school yard in this downpour all these kids had to meet up with parents for their own trip home. The fog was so bad in the rain I had to hang out the door of the bus to see the white line to keep the driver in the middle of the road. Finally I had to drive another 15 miles to my own home. I arrived home at 10:30 to a panicked husband.No cell phones in those days! Hope I haven’t bored you.


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