Shakespeare’s Globe tours
Lively and enthusiastic guides at Shakespeare's Globe bring the space to life in a half-hour tour of the auditorium, including colourful stories of the 1599 Globe, the processes involved in its construction, and significant factors influencing its design.
Due to it’s unique architecture and open-air nature, the tour directs visitors’ attention to many features of the theatre which are different from more modern theatres, including the building materials, trompe l’oeil decoration and painted heavens, trapdoors to spaces above and below the stage, the ‘tiring house’ behind the stage, the different parts of the auditorium and their relation to different types of playgoer, the musicians’ gallery, and aspects of symbolism and geometry in the building design.
Tour guides provide a colourful history of the theatre, and by extension the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries are described in the context of the local area, the city authorities, and social changes of the period.
Duration: 30 - 40 minutes
How to book: Individual tickets to The Globe Theatre Exhibition & Tour can be purchased in person on the day of the visit. Groups 15+ must be booked in advance.
Tour dates: Monday, 9.30am – 5.00pm, Tuesday – Saturday, 9.30am – 12.30pm, Sunday, 9.30am – 11.30am. Tours depart every 30 minutes.
Cost: Individual: £13.50 (adults), £12.00 (senior), £11.00 (with student ID), £8.00 (under-16). Pre-booked groups of 15 or more people: £12.50 (adult), £11.50 (senior), £10.50 (student), £7.50 (child), with one Free ticket given for every 15 paying. Free entry for Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe and children under the age of 5.
How to get there
Shakespeare’s Globe is best reached on foot by either the Millennium Footbridge of Southwark Bridge. The nearest Underground stations are Blackfriars on the District and Circle Lines (10 minute walk) Mansion House on the District and Circle Lines (10 minute walk), London Bridge on the Northern and Jubilee Lines (10 minute walk), Southwark on the Jubilee Line (15 minute walk), and St Paul's on the Central Line (15 minute walk).
For more information please see the theatre’s website.
With over 48 theatres in the West End alone, London provides visitors with a wealth of diverse theatre architecture both new and old, from major playhouses to small music halls.
The following London theatres currently offer tours:
Shakespeare's Globe is a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse on the south bank of the River Thames. The original Globe Theatre built in 1599, destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, and then demolished in 1644. The modern reconstruction is an academic approximation based on available evidence of the 1599 and 1614 buildings. It was founded by the actor and director Sam Wanamaker and built about 230 metres (750 ft) from the site of the original theatre and opened to the public in 1997, with a production of Henry V. Like the original Globe, the modern theatre has a thrust stage that projects into a large circular yard surrounded by three tiers of raked seating. The only covered parts of the amphitheatre are the stage and the seating areas. The site also includes the new indoor Jacobean-style Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opened in January 2014, with a production of The Duchess of Malfi. Unique amongst other London venues, the Playhouse’s handmade oak structure will be lit by hundreds of candles, treating audiences to a truly intimate theatre experience.
See The Theatres Trust Theatres Database ID number 3166 Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre