History Of The Globe Theater


The first Globe to be established was Elizabethan theater in 1599, which was in Southwark. It was among the four mightiest theaters in England; the others were Hope, Rose and Swan. Typically, the Globe acted as Lord Chamberlain’s men playhouse. It staged the most famous Shakespeare’s plays like Hamlet, Othello and Julius Caesar.

The Globe belonged to six actors that were shareholders of Lord Chamberlain’s men. Two of the shareholders Richard Burbage and Cuthbert Burbage were brothers, and they owned 25% shares each, equating to half of the Globe’s shares. The rest of the men, John Heminges, Augustine Philippines, Shakespeare and Thomas Pope owned 12.5% shares, which was equal to a single share. Nonetheless, proportions of their shares kept diminishing, as new members came in. Consequently, Shakespeare’s shares downsized from 12.5% to 7%.

The Globe was constructed using timber that was obtained from an earlier theater that belonged to Richard Burbage’s father, James Burbage. He had leased the site on which the theater was constructed for 20 years. However, after end of the lease period, they decided to demolish it section by section and took them over to the new site for construction of the Globe.

During the performance of Henry eighth on June 29, 1613, the Globe went ablaze when theatrics cannon ignited wooden beams. Fortunately, no one got hurt during the incidence except one man who attempted to put off his burning breaches using ale. In 1642, like other theaters, the Globe was demolished by the Puritans. Since then, its exact location had been unknown until 1989 when some of its remnants were discovered beneath Anchor Terrace car park.

After its demolition in 1642, an idea to set up a modern Globe was developed by American actor Sam Wanamaker. The new Globe would be built as a replica of Elizabethan theater. It was named as “Shakespeare’s Globe Theater”. Since then, it has staged plays starting from May to October in every year. Approximately, it is built on 225 yards just as the original theater. Additionally, it has an open roof and its stage projects around all seats.

Extensive research was carried out before construction of the modern theater to make sure it reassembled the original one. Construction was facilitated by discovery of remnants belonging to the original theater. However, the modern theater has added features like fire protective sprinklers on the roof, visitors’ area and support area at the back of the stage. The modern theater can host 1,300 people while the original one used to house 3000 people because there were minimal health hazards.

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