All the World’s a Stage’. Aren't we all a little too familiar with this line? If you're a William Shakespeare fan, there's a whole museum/theatre dedicated to him - The Shakespeare Globe Theatre, London. The theatre is a fantastic reconstruction of the Globe Theatre which was a 16th-century Elizabethan playhouse and hosted brilliant plays by Shakespeare including Julius Caesar, Macbeth, King Lear, and Hamlet.
Today, the Shakespeare Globe Theatre conducts plays and educates visitors about Elizabethan theatre and conduct workshops. This guide will delve a little into the Shakespeare Globe Theatre History, how you can score the best Shakespeare Globe Tickets and a sneak peak of the tour you can expect while you're there.
Shakespeare Globe Theatre London History
The 16th century was a dark period for theatre as it was associated with pleasures of the lowly classes. Yet, it didn’t stop the people from creating their own spaces for plays across the River Thames, outside the City walls. In 1599, Shakespeare’s play company ‘Lord Chamberlain’s Men’ built the Globe Theatre, which was burned down in a fire. The company resurrected the theatre in the same location but had to be destroyed by the Puritan government in 1642.
In 1997, Sam Wanamaker worked against the odds and replicated the Theatre in Southwark about 230 metres away from the original Globe Theatre. Today, it is a living shrine dedicated to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre history and continues to perform Shakespeare’s best plays!
Why Visit the Shakespeare Globe Theatre London
- The Shakespeare Globe Theatre is the ultimate ode to Shakespeare and his body of work. A perfect tour for literary and theatre enthusiasts, a visit to the theatre offers a fascinating peek into the history of English Theatre.
- The theatre is an authentic replica of the original Globe, right down to the materials used and the architecture. The building uses just wood and plaster and is closest to the historical description and archaeological remains of the old structure.
- Learn about Elizabethan Theatre and how plays were performed in the 16th century in the open-air theatre. From the creation of sound effects to the costumes and makeup, the tour offers an insight into the working of theatre.
- Discover objects, costumes, documents and other unique artefacts related to Shakespeare and the Globe in the exhibition, which is the largest exhibition dedicated to Shakespeare.
Shakespeare Globe Theatre Tickets
You can purchase Shakespeare Globe Tickets online and skip the hassle of waiting in queues at the ticket counter. Once you complete purchasing the Shakespeare Globe Tickets, you will receive your tickets via email. This ticket must be printed and presented at the counter for entry. Unfortunately, e-tickets are not accepted here.
Globe Theatre Tickets
- All Access Pass to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre
- The benefits of an expert local guide and multilingual audio guide
- Flexible ticket that can be used any time of the day
Shakespeare Globe Theatre Tour Deconstructed
Your Shakespeare Globe Theatre Tour begins in the courtyard of the theatre. The 1400-seater auditorium is in the form of a big circle with three storeys and is entirely built with English Oak Wood and plaster. The arena is open to air and you can see the top of the roof which is the only thatched roof in London post the Great Fire in 1666.
Your expert guide will narrate stories of the building and construction of the original Globe Theatre as well Sam Wanamaker’s Globe which you are standing in. You will admire the stage with the imposing pillars and colorful roof painted with zodiac and planets that is representative of heavens. You will learn of the trapdoors in the roof and the floor of the stage as well as other tricks of the trade of the theatre.
After a quick walk through the seating arena which has hard wooden benches just like your, you will visit the Shakespeare Globe Exhibition in the basement of the theatre. The Exhibition is the largest in the world on Shakespeare and Elizabethan Theatre including costumes and props. Here you will have an audio guide in multiple languages to explore the exhibition at your own pace.
Shakespeare Globe Theatre London- All You Need to Know
The Shakespeare Globe Theatre Exhibition is open all days a week from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The Shakespeare Globe Theatre Tour starts every 30 minutes for the following time periods
- Monday: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Tuesday to Saturday: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Sunday: 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Getting to Shakespeare Globe Theatre
Get Directions on Google Map
By Train and Underground
Closest Underground Stations to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre - Mansion House (District & Circle Lines), Southwark (Jubilee Line), London Bridge (Northern & Jubilee Lines), and St Paul’s (Central Line)
Closest Overground Station to the Shakespeare Globe London - Cannon Street, Waterloo and London Bridge
The closest bus station is the Southwark Street stop, however these other stops are convenient and within 0.5 miles of the theatre.
- 381 to Southwark Street
- 45, 63, 100 to Blackfriars Bridge
- 15, 17 to Cannon Street
- 11, 15, 17, 23, 26, 76 to Mansion House
- 344 to Southwark Bridge Road
- RV1 to Sumner Street
Insider Tips for Visiting the Shakespeare Globe Theatre
- Since the Shakespeare Globe Theatre is a working theatre, you cannot enter the without a ticket to the tour or a ticket to a show. Hence, it is a great idea to purchase tickets to the tour to experience it at any time of the year.
- The Shakespeare Globe Exhibition is access friendly and has wheelchair and lift access to all parts of the exhibition and tour. There are audio guide headphones, printed transcripts, and Braille panels all over the exhibition. There is also a dedicated Access Helpline and Desk for further assistance.
- Time your visit so you can enjoy the Afternoon Tea at Swan, the in-house restaurant at the Globe. The tea menu is inspired by Shakespeare’s popular play A Midsummer’s Night Dream
- Don’t forget to stop at the gift shop, literature enthusiasts will find a lot of quirky souvenirs and Shakespeare merchandise.
- If you are visiting the theatre only for the exhibition and tour then go early, preferably for the 9:30 AM tour as you can avoid the theatre crowds.