If you have a love for the English language and are an Anglophile, you would probably have a fascination for the works of British writers and playwrights. All literary lovers of the English Language will be familiar with the works of William Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dickens, Bacon, Lewis, Eliot, Austen and countless other writers, who have captivated and thrilled audiences the world over.
With a doubt probably the finest wordsmith of the English language was the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare who has mesmerised literary buffs all across the planet for generations to come. So if you are a Shakespeare fan you definitely cannot overlook an opportunity to visit a location that is inextricably linked to his life and works – The Globe Theatre!
If you want value for money it is recommended to stay at any of the hotel suites in London, preferably in the city centre. You will find the location relatively convenient to travel to different attractions in the city, which includes the Globe.
If you stay at the London City Suites by Montcalm Chiswell Street you are less than a mile from the theatre. It makes for a lovely stroll to the venue where some of the greatest plays of Shakespeare were performed, by some of the finest theatre actors during the Elizabethan era. One of the most striking features of the theatre is its unique architectural design, built in the style of an open-air amphitheatre. Circular in design it consists of three stories with the performers using the entire structure as the stage. At its ground level there was standing room place in the area known as the pits, where audiences during the times of Shakespeare paid a pence to watch the shows. It offers a very up and close personal view of the actors’ displaying their acting prowess.
The Globe Theatre that we see today is of course not the same theatre as that in use during the times of Shakespeare. The current theatre was built due to the tireless efforts of the Shakespeare Globe Trust that was set up by the late Sam Wanamaker to research and recreate the new Globe Theatre. It was built to the exact specifications of the original theatre just a few metres from where the actual Globe Theatre once stood. Special efforts were made to render it as historically accurate as possible, which involved extensive historical and archaeological efforts undertaken by Sam and his team. The Globe Theatre is picturesquely located along the scenic part of the south bank along the Thames River.
The contemporary theatre houses an exhibition and education centre which obviously was not part of the original theatre, although the primary reason for visitors to the site is to watch the performances of the master playwright. Another difference between the modern theatre and the original is that the theatre is not restricted to performance of Shakespearean plays, but also plays of other writers. Of course the biggest draw for visitors and tourists to the place is the staging of the Bard’ works, which always has sold-out crowds. To get an authentic feel and be up close and personal to all the action on stage make bookings for a yard ticket or as the pit as it is referred to enjoy the performances. However, remember these only offer standing room space!
Watching a play at the theatre is always an awesome experience. Many of the plays involve the extensive use of the theatre including the floor and balconies, which are used effectively to introduce props and characters in-and-out during performances. All of this goes a long way in enhancing the experience of watching a play here! While the ambience in the theatre is certainly impressive, the performances of the actors are as riveting to watch. Some of the biggest names in the world of contemporary theatre have given sterling performances here.
Useful tips for watching a performance
Get your tickets early
: If you do plan a trip to the Globe Theatre to watch a performance, it is recommended to get your tickets well in advance. You could do it online and is the best way to ensure that you get seats as it is difficult to get tickets at the last minute. Plus you may also get lucky and get discounted rates!
Carry your food and drinks
: Although drinks and food may be ordered before the show begins (you can collect them during the break), visitors are allowed to carry their own eatables and drinks (to be had during the interval) and not in the auditorium. You can carry your drinks in, but only in plastic bottles (no glass allowed) and nothing is to be placed on the stage area. There is a swanky bar and restaurant where you could enjoy drinks or a bite during the interval.
Watch a show from the floor:
To truly enjoy the experience of watching a Shakespearean play you must see it from the area called the yard or pit. Despite it offering standing room only (no seats) and the plays are held for a two or more hours it is well worth it. And they do have an interval for long plays to relax a bit!
Change your position to watch the performances
: If you want to really enjoy the performances you can move around in the yard area. You could choose to view the stage from the best vantage point that suits you. It offers different views and also makes it more interesting to watch a play.
Be ready to bear the weather
: Whether there is rain or sunshine the show goes on at the Globe Theatre. The weather does not play spoil-sport with performances continuing regardless of the weather. Umbrellas are not permitted within the auditorium so be prepared to carry a poncho if you plan to watch a performance from the yard.