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 The Globe Theater



* The original Globe Theater opened in 1599.

* It burned down in 1613 and was immediately rebuilt.

* It was closed by the Puritans in 1642.

* Now the theater is located 200 yeads from its original site.

* After almost 400 years it has been opened to the public again.

* The rebuilt playhouse was officially inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen on Thursday, June 21

* Its opening season ran from May 29 - September 21, 1997, and now every summer it offers performances of plays by Williams Shakespeare and his contemporaries on the type of stage the plays were written for, and many of them in authentic clothing.



Dimensions of the original Globe:


Diameter: 100 ft. surface to surface / 99 ft center to center

Yard: 70 ft. between post centers / 69 feet surface to surface

Stage: 49 ft. 6 inches across

Stage height: 5 feet

Gallery Depth: 15 ft. 6 inches overall / 15 ft. 6 inches between post centers

Overall height: 36 ft. 6 inches

Overall heights from floor to floor: 15 ft. 6 in., 11 ft. 3 in., and 9 ft. 9 in. to the plates

Balcony floor: 18 ft. 6 in. above the yard, 13 ft. 6 in. above stage

Frons Scenae doors: 11 feet tall

Heavens ceiling height: 26 ft. 9 inches (to the height of the upper gallery floor)


Dimensions of the new Globe:


Height: 33 feet to the eaves, 45 feet overall

Diameter: 100 feet

Circumference: 300 feet

Sections: 20

Capacity: 1600, including 700 standing places


Timeline of the Globe Theater
1599 - 1999

1. The Original Globe and surrounding aread - key dates:

    *1564 - William Shakespeare was born in Stratford

    *1576 - James Burbage builds the the first public playhouse in London

   *1598-9 - The first Globe Playhouse was built and opened, using timber from the Theatre following a quarrel with the Giles Allen, owner of the land.

    *September 21, 1599 -first recorded performance of a play at the Globe (Julius Caesar), by a Swiss visitor, Thomas Platter.

   *1613 - The Globe burns down accidentally during a performance of Henry VIII. The playhouse is rebuilt immediately on original foundations.This time the roof is tiled, not thatched. Shakespeare retires to Stratford-upon-Avon.

    *1616 - Shakespeare dies.

    *1642 - The Globe is closed by the Puritans, so are all other playhouses in London.

    *1644 -The Theater is pulled down to build tenements and its foundations are buried.

    *1550-1642 - There were four theaters on Bankside - the Globe, the Rose, the Hope, the Swan, and also several Bear-baiting and Bull-baiting amphitheatres. Over 15 venues were available in London to hear a play.

2. The project to rebuild the Globe key dates:

*1949 -
    Sam Wanamaker comes to London and looks for evidence of the Globe. All he finds is a plaque on a brewery wall.

*1969 -

    Sam Wanamaker meets  Theo Crosby who was later to become the Globe project architect.


*1970 -

    Sam Wanamaker establishes the Globe Playhouse Trust with the central objective of raising funds to rebuild the Globe.

    Southwark Council offers the Trust 1.2 acre site beside the River Thames, opposite St Paul's cathedral, approximately 200 yards from the site of the original Globe.


*1972 -

    The Bear Gardens Museum opens, offering a permanent exhibition on 16th and 17th century theatre history, lectures and workshops.

    July: the first summer season of productions was held within a canopied space behind the Bear Garden site.


*1987 -

    The site is cleared, ready for ground-breaking ceremony in July attended by HRH the Prince Philip.


*1989 -

    February : The remains of the Rose are discovered

    October : The remains of the Globe are discovered

    Creation of 6-meter deep foundations and a diaphragm wall to contain seepage from tidal River Thames.


*1992 -

    February: Creation of 18 six-meter high columns and a horizontal concrete raft (the Piazza) across the columns.

    March: using traditional building materials and techniques,  joiners start work on the first two of the Globe's twenty sections or bays.

    June 17th: HRH Prince Edward formally unveils the two first bays of the Globe.


*1993 -

    April: the original two sections from June 1992 are reassembled in final position on Piazza, while an additional pair of sections is raised on the Piazza.

 *1994 -

    April: HRH Prince Philip unveils the four New Zealand Hangings. There are thirteen bays in situ.

    Summer : the construction of the Globe Theatre walls begins. It is the largest lime plastering project in the UK.

    The thatching of the theatre begins - the Globe is the first building in central London to have a thatched roof since the Great Fire of London, 1666. Extra fire precautions are taken.
The Shakespeare Globe Museum is replaced by the Globe Education Centre.

    The Exhibition opens on the site of the Globe reconstruction.

    September 12th: Theo Crosby,Globe Architect, dies

* 1995 -

    April : First International Conference : "Within this Wooden 'O'". Two Leverhulme Fellows are appointed to document experimenting at the Globe.

     June : Mark Rylance is appointed artistic director as of January 1996.

    August to September 10th: Workshop Season in substantially completed theatre (on a temporary stage)

    A National Lottery funding of £12.4 million is granted to the Trust to fund the completion of Globe, foyer areas and ancillary facilities.

*1996 -

    June: a new Exhibition opens in the shell of the Inigo Jones Theatre

    August 21st to  September15th: The Globe Prologue Season (The Two Gentlemen of Verona)

    September 10 - 11: Second International Conference : "Shakespeare and Tudor Theatrical Traditions"

*1997 -

    February: Southwark Council grants planning permission to Anchor Terrace owners for conversion into luxury flats. No further archaeological digs of the original Globe will be possible.

    April 4th: the Opening Season is launched in the unfinished Globe.

    April - May: the Globe stage is built, the Frons Scenae and Heavens are built then thatched and painted.

    May 27th to September 21st: the Globe Opening Season includes Shakespeare's Henry V and The Winter's Tale, Middleton's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside and Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy.

    June 12th: HM the Queen and HRH the Prince Philip Patron of the Shakespeare Globe Trust, celebrate the opening of the Globe Theatre.

*1998 -

    June to September: the second season, featuring Shakespeare's As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice, Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters and Dekker's The Honest Whore, equals the first in popular success.

*1999 -

    Winter-Spring: Work begins on the exhibition in the undercroft and on the Millennium footbridge (which will link Bankside to Saint Paul's Cathedral and the City).

    Various changes are made to the stage and auditorium:

the bases of the pillars are reduced from squares to octagons
the music room is extended forward
the balusters on the balcony and galleries are painted in trompe l'oeil marble.