At the very mention of Globe Theatre, Shakespeare is the first resonance that arrives; strong to this day, that the reconstruction in 1997 renamed the Globe Theatre as ‘Shakespeare’s Globe’. The original theatre was destroyed in 1613 during a fire and the exact location of the building is not known but remnants were found beneath the rear car park of the Anchor Terrace in Park Street. The new theatre built in 1997 is 230 meters away from the original site of the theatre.
The first Globe Theatre was built in 1599 using timber and during the performance of Henry III it went up in flames set by a theatrical canon, there were no casualties, dramatic as its location there was only a man who had his breeches in fire which was put out using a bottle of ale. The theatre was rebuilt and later closed by the Puritans in 1642 like all the other theatres. When the new theatre opened in 1997 as Shakespeare’s Globe it opened with the production of Henry V.
The old theatre had a roof above the two columns of the stage called the ‘heavens’ as it was painted with clouds and sky. The theatre’s supposedly motto is Totus mundus agit histrionem – ‘because the entire world plays the actor’. The link between the supposed mottos was outlined by one of the early industrious biographers of Shakespeare who claimed he had access to one of the personal manuscripts.
On your visit to London the foundation stone of the first Globe Theatre can be seen at the rear of Anchor Terrace. The Shakespeare’s Globe is open all year round with tours in different languages. The tour takes you back in time, reliving the Globe Theatre as it was in 1599.
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