All the world's a stage...

So begins the famous monologue of the melancholy Jacques in Shakespeare´s play "As you like it". Coincidentally, the Latin motto of the Globe Theatre, of which Shakespeare was a shareholder, was: "All the world is a playground". The original Globe was built in 1599 and destroyed by fire in 1613. It was rebuilt a year later, closed by the Puritans in 1642 and pulled down around 1644. The Globe that we can visit today, is a modern reconstruction about 100 metres from the original theatre, founded by the American actor Sam Wanamaker and opened in 1997. Shakespeare´s Globe, as the theatre was named, was built, as far as possible, using the same materials and techqniques of the original Globe, The theatre was partly open air with the audience divided between the pit where, for one penny, they would stand to watch the performance. Above the pit, there were three levels of galleries with wooden benches, some with cushions, which were more expensive, The upper gallery was reserved for the rich and the nobility - the Lord´s and the Gentlemen´s rooms. The money was put in a box held by collectors and, once full, taken to the box office (thus, the name used nowadays to describe a ticket office). Theatre-going was very much a social event and people would eat and drink whilst watching the play. Playhouses were also known to have areas where courtesans and gamblers would carry out their trade, which would explain, in part, why the Puritans closed down the original Globe. The modern Globe, stages plays and events and you can even become a donor and have your name engraved in the "Supporting Wall" or on a tile at the entrance.

Shakespeare´s Globe

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