G is for Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe, that is. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the Globe twice for performances of Shakespeare’s plays: once a few years ago for Othello and then this year for all three parts of Henry VI in one day.

Built as a replica of the original Globe, which burned down and was replaced by a building with a tiled roof, the modern Globe has a thatched roof over the seated areas, while those who stand to watch the play (the groundlings) are more exposed to the weather. On the other hand, being a groundling is rather more interactive since actors move on and off the stage through the audience, and some long passages are delivered from the floor.

For all-day events, sitting may be preferred. Lower, middle and upper tiers of seats have their individual advantages and disadvantages, but unlike more modern theatre designs, there’s no one ideal place from which to watch. Meanwhile, the paintings above and behind the stage, as well as┬áthe decoration on the pillars supporting the canopy should not be missed.

The Globe’s season runs from April to October and this year the new Sam Wannamaker Playhouse will be opening to entertain audiences over the winter months.

Definitely worth a visit when in London.

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