Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: The nerdgasms continue

6 Apr

Last Friday I finally made it across the Thames to Shakespeare’s Globe… Well, the recreation of the Globe. The original Globe Theatre is long since burnt down.

The Globe is located in the South End on the River Thames, right next to the Tate Modern. It is the only wooden building within three miles of the city of London since the Great Fire. It was built using the same materials that were used for the original: English Oak, wooden pegs, thatched roof, goat's hair plaster, handmade bricks

The Millenium Bridge, recognizable from the 6th Harry Potter movie. I walked across and back, enjoying my nearly daily dose of Harry Potter referencing.

I like to take pictures of all the signs. Like a total nerd. You can imagine how many signs I photographed at the Globe.

A timeline of the plays and the life of the Globe along with some history of London

This prop made me think of Hamlet. Alas, poor Yorrick.

The Globe is an open-air theatre and therefor has no roof. In Elizabethan England plays were performed during the day when it was light because it would have been too expensive (and dangerous) to light an entire theatre by candlelight. The Globe is still run as it was in Shakespeare's time, with the plays performed in the day. However, the only lights in the theatre simulate daylight so that they may also perform in the evenings. There are no special effects lights, spotlights, or strip lights in the Globe.

The Royal box where her Majesty herself has sat to view a play. In Elizabethan England the actors travelled to the palaces to perform. These boxes would be used for Lords and other nobility. Technically speaking they don't offer the best view but in those days you came to hear a show, not see it. This is why Shakespeare's plays contain context clues in the dialogue about location, weather, etc.

The Heavens, or roof of the stage. The trapdoor is used for heavenly bodies to speak from and fairies to ascend the stage from. Today invisible wires are used but in Shakespeare's time they used large ropes for two reasons: Safety and to assure the audience that the actor was not flying with witchcraft.

We sat in the top of the stands, which was amazing. The Globe is the only building in London with a thatched roof. Because of the fire codes in London (and being the only wooden structure for miles) the Globe is fully fireproofed, including the thatched roof. As an added precaution there are sprinklers all along the roof.

When we visited they had just finished repainting the stage and preparing for the spring season.

This poster was displayed in the exhibition and of course I had to get one at the gift shop.


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