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.