I almost visited this interest theatre on our last visit in 2017, but I was too late back then. Tours are only in the morning hours and I came at 4pm only to be turned away…..and it was our last day in London as we were leaving the next morning to take the train to France. Thankfully we came back in December 2019 and my wife and I showed up at the right time! Always do your research when wanting to visit any famous sight. It will save you disappointment.
Shakespeare’s Globe History
You can visit my last post to read up on the history of the Globe, but I will mention here that this version of The Globe that stands today is NOT the original Shakespeare’s globe from 1599, this new Globe built in 1997 is modeled after the one built in 1599. If you are disappointed to hear that, don’t be, it looks pretty much like the one built a long time ago, it even feels old.
Touring The Globe Theatre
During the morning hours every day of the week you can visit and tour Shakespeare’s globe by purchasing tickets online or in person. We visited during non-peak season (winter) so we bought our tickets in person there. If you are traveling during peak season (summers), I recommend buying the tickets online as tours tend to sell out quickly.
After we bought our tickets, we waited in line in front of the ticket counter and we were eventually escorted down into the basement where we were given an introduction to the Globe and into Theatre in general of that time. They spoke about costumes, the plays performed, and the customs of the day, which was really interesting to hear. For example, back in the days of Shakespeare, the audience members interacted with the actors, if they didn’t like a particular actor, they would harass him and even throw things at him.
After the short 15-minute lecture we walked back upstairs and stood outside the globe and the tour guide talked a little about the architecture. We then entered the inside of the Globe.
Inside Shakespeare’s Globe
Even when you’re inside Shakespeare’s Globe, you are still outside. It’s a roofless theatre. Keep that in mind if you decide to see a play or a show here. London get’s chilly in the winter, and even in the summer some evenings can be cool and it can rain.
As you can see in the photos below, the theatre has seats arching around the stage, and there’s a big space on the ground before you reach the stage. Back in the day, the really poor would be allowed to enter the theatre for a super low price and they would stand in that space to watch the performance. They were called groundlings. The rich and/or wealthy would get seats at the very top. When an orchestra plays, there is no orchestra pit as you see in modern theatres today, the orchestra sits off to the side in a couple of rows of seats.
Are there Performances in The Globe Today?
Yes! You can see plays today at the Globe! We almost did it, but being that it was December and it was cold, we didn’t want to be outside watching a performance. Maybe on our next visit to London we can go, we just need to go in the summer!
Tickets are affordable enough that you don’t need to stand on the ground, you can get a seat (I’m not even sure if the audience can stand on the ground).
I’m only in London for a Few Days, is it Worth it to Visit the Globe?
My answer is yes! The Tour is only an hour from beginning to end and there is easy access from the London Underground, so there is no excuse to NOT go. Just make sure you go in the morning. There are no tours in the afternoon as they need to prep for the evening shows.