Sunday, 15 August 2010

A little bit about the Globe theatre.













I can’t believe I’ve left it so ‘late’ to visit the Globe. The current Globe theatre was opened in 1997, and was the idea of the American actor Sam Wanamaker. Wanamaker had visited London in 1949 and had set out to find the site of the original Globe theatre. He was disappointed that there wasn’t even a memorial to it, as was I when I read about it. In 1970, he formed the Shakespeare Globe Trust, and in 1987, building work was started on the site of the original Globe theatre. The foundations were laid, and in 1993, the construction of the theatre itself was begun. I find it very sad that Wanamaker did not live to see the completion of his project – he died in 1993.

The original Globe was built in 1599, by Shakespeare’s players company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. The Globe burned down on June 29th, 1613 during a performance of Henry VIII. The thatched roof caught fire. No-one was killed or seriously injured.

As well as the theatre, the site also has a lecture room, eduactional facilities, book and gift shop and an exhibition, openly daily. I didn’t have time to go to the exhibition, and not surprisngly, it’s closed during performances.

On the subject of Shakespeare, I’ve been reading ‘Contested Will’ by James Shapiro which I bought at the Globe bookshop. It’s not really what I thought it would be about – that is discussing the candidates who might have been the ‘real’ Shakespeare. It’s actually the history, and I’d say pyschology, about the authorship debate. When it started, possible reasons for it and the thinking of the challengers of the authorship by promoters of Francis Bacon and the Earl of Oxford. It’s thought provoking and an excellent read.

6 comments:

Kathryn said...

Great pics, Anerje! There's a reconstruction of the Globe theatre in the German city of Neuss - I saw a production (in English! ;) of Marlowe's play Edward II there a while ago. Fantastic experience.

Anerje said...

OMG! I'm desperate to see a production of that! And to think there's a Globe copy in Germany!

Kathryn said...

Hope you get to see the play soon, Anerje - it's great! Here's the Globe in Neuss, by the way: http://www.shakespeare-festival.de/en/

Anerje said...

Thanks for the link - and having finished 'Contesting Will', the author says he believes other Globe reconstructions exist in other countries - and you've proved they certainly do:>

Gabriele C. said...

Hi, looks like this blog is alive again. :)

Anerje said...

yes, Gabriele, I need to get my act together:> Expect news of other historical visits shortly.