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).
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).