Take a Virtual Tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London




The story of the Globe Theatre, the ancestral home of Shakespeare’s plays, is itself very Shakespearean, in all of the ways we use that adjective: it has deep roots in English history, a tragic backstory, and represents all of the hodgepodge of London, in the early 17th century and today, with the city’s colorful street life, mingling of international cultures, high and low, and its delight in the play and interplay of languages.

“The first public playhouses,” notes the British Library, “were built in London in the late 1500s. Theatres were not permitted within the boundaries of the City itself”—theater not being considered a respectable art—”but were tolerated in the outer districts of London, such as Southwark, where the Globe was located. Southwark was notorious for its noisy, chaotic entertainments and for its sleazy low-life: its theatres, brothels, bear baiting pits, pickpockets and the like.”


The Globe began its life in 1599, in a story that “might be worthy,” writes the Shakespeare Resource Center, “of a Shakespearean play of its own.” Built from the timbers of the city’s first permanent theater, the Burbage, which opened in 1576, the Globe burned down in 1613 “when a cannon shot during a performance of Henry VIII ignited the thatched roof in the gallery.” Within the year, it was rebuilt on the same foundations (with a tiled roof) and operated until the Puritans shut it down in 1642, demolishing the famed open-air theater two years later.

In a twist to this so far very English tale, it took the tireless efforts of an expatriate American, actor-director Sam Wanamaker, to bring the Globe back to London. After more than two decades of advocacy, Wanamaker’s Globe Playhouse Trust succeeded in recreating the Globe, just a short distance from the original location. Opening in 1997, three-hundred and fifty-five years after the first Globe closed, the new Globe Theatre recreated all of the original’s architectural elements.

The stage projects into the circular courtyard, designed for standing spectators and surrounded by three tiers of seats. While the stage itself has an elaborate painted roof, and the seating is protected from the weather by the only thatched roof in London since the 1666 Great Fire, the theater’s courtyard is open to the sky. However, where the original Globe held about 2,000 standing and 1,000 seated playgoers, the recreation, notes TimeOut London, holds only about half that number.

Still, theater-goers can “get a rich feel for what it was like to be a ‘groundling’ (the standing rabble at the front of the stage) in the circular, open-air theatre.” Short of that, we can tour the Globe in the virtual recreation at the top of the post. Move around in any direction and look up at the sky. As you do, click on the tiny circles to reveal facts such as “Probably the first Shakespeare play to be performed at the Globe was Julius Caesar, in 1599,” and videos like Mark Antony’s famous “friends, Romans, countrymen” speech, performed at the Globe, above.

If you don’t have the luxury of visiting the new Globe, taking a tour, or seeing a performance lovingly-recreated with all of the costuming (and even pronunciation) from Jacobean England, you can get the flavor of this wondrous achievement in bringing cultural history into the present with the virtual tour, also available as an app for iPhone and iPad users. This interactive tour supersedes a previous version we featured a few years back.

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Related Content:

Hear What Hamlet, Richard III & King Lear Sounded Like in Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation

The 1,700+ Words Invented by Shakespeare*

What Shakespeare’s Handwriting Looked Like

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness


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Comments (58)
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  • Osama bin ladin says:

    I didn’t know thanos was one of his fans.

  • Osama bin ladins kid says:

    Dad get off the wifi my fortnite game is lagging

  • Chris P. Bacon says:

    I’m getting dizzy

  • Jake says:

    that dang john wick

  • ur son says:

    Mom what are you doing to dad in the room p

  • Seal Team 6 says:

    The fact that you guys are on this website at the same time is kinda weird. Btw… look out your window.

  • Seal Team 6 says:

    The fact that you guys are on this website at the same time is kinda odd… btw, look out your window.

  • Camron Mcnair says:

    I like but

  • ben dover says:

    i kind like cock

  • berry MCockner says:

    step bro what are you doing im stuck underneath the bed

  • Ben Dover says:

    Ben Dover, a name you can trust at high speeds.

  • Cameron Mcnair says:

    Hi, im cameron mcnair. And like im kinda sus like bro

  • Stepbro says:

    Do I sEE StePsIs sTuCk???

  • Robertoism is worthless, choose aethiesm says:

    Thanos rules the aetheists

  • Stepbro says:

    b̵̨̡̧̢̨̡̡̢̢̡̢͎̻̹͙̠̠͚͇͔͍̣͍͎̻̤̣̱̟͖̘̥̩̦͎͓̹͙̣̬̫̞̗̼̮̥̙̠̤͉̺̘̻͓̗̰͎̰͈͈͓̝̖̹͚̰͈͓̟̞̻͖͕͍̮̱̱̥̘͉͕̹͍͉̱̟̯͉̗̯̣̻̭͎̯̗̰͉̜̭͕̼͓͕͈̠͙̝̩̟̜̖̺̦̜̼͎̬̰͎̦̻̟̞͈̤̦̫̙͚̰̞͈̘͍̮̻̟̝͎̲̤̱̞̳̲̱̹̲̭̰̥̝̘̭͔͈̩̞̯̱̞͍̿̍̀̍̈́̿̀̃̌̆̂͛̽̋̒̓̍̓̎̽̂̀́͌̌̋͐̏̓̌͊̎͐͘͜͜͝͝͝ͅͅͅͅe̶̡̧̨̧̡̢̡̧̛̛̛̛̛̛̼̦̘̯̤̭̮͖̦̗̰͙͓͖̗̝̱̭͍͕͉̖̠̰͕̙͚̭͈̱̭̖̳͕̘̬̲̞̺͔̺͍̦̗̬̤͓̤̞̮͙͈̖̘̬̬̬̖̺̗̭͙̠̗̲̜̼̟̭̯̬͈̙͕͉̪̙͈͚͉͂̓͋͂̒̊͂͊̂̀̋̃̿̄̈́̌́̽̄̇͒̂͋͆͐̌̂͊͌̉́̽̒̔̈́́̍͋́̑̋͑͌̎̽̒̋̐̔̈̋͊̃͋͌͂̈́̿̾̿͊̋́̔̽̀̑͌̑͂̑̄̿͛̄̾̓̄́̐͐̾̋̿̃̉͐̋͐̃̈̋̏̓̋̏́̔͑̉͒̊̅͑̀̇̔̽̽͑͒̂͂͊͋̅̉̈̀͐̎̅̈̈́̏͆͆͐̑̒͗̊̽̏̉̌͂̃̃̅̑̈̄̋͑͗̌̓̄̌̈́̽́̃̍͂͛̃̓̍̑̄́̎͌́̅̽̒͑̈̍͆́̒̀̎͛͊̅̓̆̒̇̆̓̌̽̄́̐͂̃̋̎̊́̏̍̔̒̔̄͛̔͑͒̎̅̄̄̊̓̉͐̈́̐̑̓̈́́́̀̽̀̓̓̽͘̚͘̚̕̚͘͘̚͘̕̕̕͘͘̕̚̕̚͘̚͘͘͘̚̚͠͝͝͠͝͠͝͝͝͠͠͝͠͠͝͠͠͝͝͝͝͝͝͝͝ͅp̴̡̡̢̢̧̡̡̨̧̨̡̧̘͖̣̘̥̜̮̦̬͎̘̻̗̰̙̰̥͚̹͓̘̙̭̩̻̲̼͚͖̼͎̤̙̝͈̗͇͙͎̩̖̯̪̯͖̮͙͖͙̼̻̺̱̜͚͇̰̲̖̗͙͉͉̝̱̥͓̬̦̣̬̤̱͓̱͉̰̭̲̰͈̮̠̥̜͙͔̹͉̼̺̞̫͇̥̻̘̩͚̖͈̩̤̺̰̞̞͉̖͇͍͍͎̤͚͕̤̞͖̩̫͔̻͖̲͉̈́̇͗̀̐̇̓̊̉̇͋̋͆̍͒́̅͗̊̒̉͌̽͆̾́͛͌̀͘͜͜͜͠ͅͅi̶̢̢̛̛̛̛͎͎̘̼̼̭̺̻͈̗̙̭̺͈̲͈̥̲̘̞͇̲̗͎͖̱͍̜̠̳̮̬͚̠͇̍̅̂͆̽͑̇̅͐͗̾͒͗̄́͌͒̂̀͛́͐̊͗̅̀͂̊͒̊͆̈́̈́́͌̀̑̈̋͊̈́̂̄̈̆̃̓̈́́̉̈̿̅̊̇̐͌͌̆͊̊̀͋͂̋̎̓͂̌̋̍͐̔̊̆͆͐̾̿̔̓̀͋̈́̊̎̈́͌͐̓̉͊̈́̇́́͋̀̆̐͛̒̃̈́̍̈̀̏͆̽̐͂͑̊͌̂͐́̌̄͂̓͒̈́̈͌̔̾́͛̐̿̉̓͊͊̕̚̚͘̕̚͝͝͝͝͝͠͝͝͠ͅş̷̨̡̢̢̢̡̨̧̢̛̛̛̛͙̠͈̟̖̯̲͙̙̫̙̰̜̗͙̜̲̮̫̘̹̲̞͇̮̙̰͔̣̠̯̰͕̻̩͖͍̜̼̱̣̣͔̟̱͙͍͚͉͉̦̩͚̠̥̯͍̪̭̞͈̲̘͓̰̣̬̫͚̬̩͔̖̮͎͈̬̫͖̯̦̪̯̞̮̱͈͓̘͕̜̘̬͇̜̳̞̓̎̈̔̌̄̓͛̀̆͛͊̉̂̈́̅̓̄̍̇̊̈́̑̔͂̀̔̇̓̇̇̅̆̈́͐̃̆̃͊̔͂̐̄͂̋͛̾̀̍̓̉͂͊̇̉̎̿̈́̉̈̒̒̉̽̈́̈͊͌̓͐̓̆̈́̽̿̍̅͗̏͐́͌͗̂́͑͒͊̄́̃̂͛͑̏̄̇̀͆͑̐̑̊̍̆́̀̅͛̾̆̈́̔̒̄͋̿̈́̈͌́́̉͊͆̇͆̽͂͐͛̒̈́͗́̈̋̽̐̄͌̄̌͑̽̆̋́̿̈́̇̎̑̑̆̄̍̓̏͊̅̐̈́̈͆̐̓̚͘̚͘̕͘̚̚͘̕͜͜͝͠͝͠͠͝͝͠͝͝͝ͅͅͅͅ

  • Fingle Dan says:

    Im old

  • james says:

    NIGGGER

  • Adam Ayoub says:

    This was cool because I got to see all the great details about this building.

  • blowjob says:

    ass

  • A normal citizen of Hiroshima. says:

    Bro u are not gonna believe this

  • Noobmaster69 says:

    The story of the Globe Theatre, the ancestral home of Shakespeare’s plays, is itself very Shakespearean, in all of the ways we use that adjective: it has deep roots in English history, a tragic backstory, and represents all of the hodgepodge of London, in the early 17th century and today, with the city’s colorful street life, mingling of international cultures, high and low, and its delight in the play and interplay of languages.

    “The first public playhouses,” notes the British Library, “were built in London in the late 1500s. Theatres were not permitted within the boundaries of the City itself”—theater not being considered a respectable art—”but were tolerated in the outer districts of London, such as Southwark, where the Globe was located. Southwark was notorious for its noisy, chaotic entertainments and for its sleazy low-life: its theatres, brothels, bear baiting pits, pickpockets and the like.”

    The Globe began its life in 1599, in a story that “might be worthy,” writes the Shakespeare Resource Center, “of a Shakespearean play of its own.” Built from the timbers of the city’s first permanent theater, the Burbage, which opened in 1576, the Globe burned down in 1613 “when a cannon shot during a performance of Henry VIII ignited the thatched roof in the gallery.” Within the year, it was rebuilt on the same foundations (with a tiled roof) and operated until the Puritans shut it down in 1642, demolishing the famed open-air theater two years later.

    In a twist to this so far very English tale, it took the tireless efforts of an expatriate American, actor-director Sam Wanamaker, to bring the Globe back to London. After more than two decades of advocacy, Wanamaker’s Globe Playhouse Trust succeeded in recreating the Globe, just a short distance from the original location. Opening in 1997, three-hundred and fifty-five years after the first Globe closed, the new Globe Theatre recreated all of the original’s architectural elements.

    The stage projects into the circular courtyard, designed for standing spectators and surrounded by three tiers of seats. While the stage itself has an elaborate painted roof, and the seating is protected from the weather by the only thatched roof in London since the 1666 Great Fire, the theater’s courtyard is open to the sky. However, where the original Globe held about 2,000 standing and 1,000 seated playgoers, the recreation, notes TimeOut London, holds only about half that number.

    Still, theater-goers can “get a rich feel for what it was like to be a ‘groundling’ (the standing rabble at the front of the stage) in the circular, open-air theatre.” Short of that, we can tour the Globe in the virtual recreation at the top of the post. Move around in any direction and look up at the sky. As you do, click on the tiny circles to reveal facts such as “Probably the first Shakespeare play to be performed at the Globe was Julius Caesar, in 1599,” and videos like Mark Antony’s famous “friends, Romans, countrymen” speech, performed at the Globe, above.

    If you don’t have the luxury of visiting the new Globe, taking a tour, or seeing a performance lovingly-recreated with all of the costuming (and even pronunciation) from Jacobean England, you can get the flavor of this wondrous achievement in bringing cultural history into the present with the virtual tour, also available as an app for iPhone and iPad users. This interactive tour supersedes a previous version we featured a few years back.

  • Kason Gartner says:

    Its a historical theater that got burned in an accident with a cannon in the Henry the 8th when they rebuilt the theater with a new roof in the same year but the following two years the building got demolished,then an american actor named Sam Wanamaker stood trying to get people to help him protest to rebuild the theater and after two decades advocacy the plan worked after 335 years after the original shut down the new one was born looking exactly like the original.

  • Ly’modrick says:

    Born looking just like the original

  • STEP SIS says:

    WHy Am I sTuCk StEp BrO HeLp Me PlEaSe

  • scarlett says:

    that is a beautiful stage.

  • Merik says:

    the stage is really pretty

  • Sydney says:

    The 360 view was cool. i liked seeing the videos.

  • Armani says:

    why are the comments such a mess what the heck

  • Dsvjdvgewvdu says:

    Dang bro that’s aggressive

  • Leon west says:

    districts of London, such as Southwark, where the Globe was located

  • PlantPerson says:

    what the 𝓯𝓾𝓬𝓴 is up with these comments–

  • K says:

    Lmaooooo

  • M says:

    nice 360 tour

  • Your momm says:

    i wanna contribute to the chaos

  • Nicol Gonzales says:

    The Globe began its life in 1599, in a story that “might be worthy,” writes the Shakespeare Resource Center, “of a Shakespearean play of its own.” Built from the timbers of the city’s first permanent theater, the Burbage, which opened in 1576, the Globe burned down in 1613 “when a cannon shot during a performance of Henry VIII ignited the thatched roof in the gallery.”

  • sunsara lyn gross says:

    I loved how there are so many different kinds of theaters and musicians and music in the world.

  • We all do says:

    We all do

  • Devin bob says:

    Funky me harder dady

  • We're all dead says:

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM I am very uncomfortable with the atmosphere we have created in the studio today @~@

  • You are not funny says:

    You guys are not funny, just stop.

  • Dee says:

    I’d rather be the main character in one of Shakespeare’s plays than read through this comment section again.

  • Mike unt says:

    I went there and my uncle touched my bum with his pp now I’m president obama

  • Giant Horny Horn says:

    I’ll take a potato chip

    and eat it

  • dru.sus says:

    wdym you dont wanna be my sussy little baka bbg

  • Thanos's basement says:

    HELP HE”S GOT US TRAPPED IN HERE WE ONLY GET ONE PRINGLE A WEEK HELP PLS

  • Drury x JEFF says:

    children
    all of you children out there
    we see what you are typing
    WE ARE READING THEM ALOUD TO OUR CLASS
    please it’s been the highlight of my day

  • DRURY IS SUSSY BAKA says:

    Drury is a sussy baka ;)

  • sextus says:

    he is the sussiest of all the bakas

  • sid says:

    damn yall need therapy more than the Winchesters and that’s saying something

  • Bimbofarter says:

    Shakespeare’s boner

  • Deez says:

    Among us is a dead meme pls stop saying “sussy baka” I’m frustrated and irritable

  • Swanky Don says:

    The Hog Rider card is unlocked from the Spell Valley (Arena 5). He is a quick building-targeting, melee troop with moderately high hitpoints and damage. He appears just like his Clash of Clans counterpart; a man with brown eyebrows, a beard, a mohawk, and a golden body piercing in his left ear who is riding a hog. A Hog Rider card costs 4 Elixir to deploy.

  • Osama Bin Liftin says:

    According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly.
    Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground.
    The bee, of course, flies anyway because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.
    Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Yellow, black. Yellow, black.
    Ooh, black and yellow!
    Let’s shake it up a little.
    Barry! Breakfast is ready!
    Coming!
    Hang on a second.
    Hello?
    Barry?
    Adam?
    Can you believe this is happening?
    I can’t.
    I’ll pick you up.
    Looking sharp.
    Use the stairs, Your father paid good money for those.
    Sorry. I’m excited.
    Here’s the graduate.
    We’re very proud of you, son.
    A perfect report card, all B’s.
    Very proud.
    Ma! I got a thing going here.
    You got lint on your fuzz.
    Ow! That’s me!
    Wave to us! We’ll be in row 118,000.
    Bye!
    Barry, I told you, stop flying in the house!
    Hey, Adam.
    Hey, Barry.
    Is that fuzz gel?
    A little. Special day, graduation.
    Never thought I’d make it.
    Three days grade school, three days high school.
    Those were awkward.
    Three days college. I’m glad I took a day and hitchhiked around The Hive.
    You did come back different.
    Hi, Barry. Artie, growing a mustache? Looks good.
    Hear about Frankie?
    Yeah.
    You going to the funeral?
    No, I’m not going.
    Everybody knows, sting someone, you die.
    Don’t waste it on a squirrel.
    Such a hothead.
    I guess he could have just gotten out of the way.
    I love this incorporating an amusement park into our day.
    That’s why we don’t need vacations.
    Boy, quite a bit of pomp under the circumstances.
    Well, Adam, today we are men.
    We are!
    Bee-men.
    Amen!
    Hallelujah!
    Students, faculty, distinguished bees,
    please welcome Dean Buzzwell.
    Welcome, New Hive City graduating class of 9:15.
    That concludes our ceremonies And begins your career at Honex Industries!
    Will we pick our job today?
    I heard it’s just orientation.
    Heads up! Here we go.
    Keep your hands and antennas inside the tram at all times.
    Wonder what it’ll be like?
    A little scary.
    Welcome to Honex, a division of Honesco and a part of the Hexagon Group.
    This is it!
    Wow.
    Wow.
    We know that you, as a bee, have worked your whole life to get to the point where you can work for your whole life.
    Honey begins when our valiant Pollen Jocks bring the nectar to The Hive.
    Our top-secret formula is automatically color-corrected, scent-adjusted and bubble-contoured into this soothing sweet syrup with its distinctive golden glow you know as… Honey!
    That girl was hot.
    She’s my cousin!
    She is?
    Yes, we’re all cousins.
    Right. You’re right.
    At Honex, we constantly strive to improve every aspect of bee existence.
    These bees are stress-testing a new helmet technology.
    What do you think he makes?
    Not enough.
    Here we have our latest advancement, the Krelman.
    What does that do?
    Catches that little strand of honey that hangs after you pour it.
    Saves us millions.
    Can anyone work on the Krelman?
    Of course. Most bee jobs are small ones.
    But bees know that every small job, if it’s done well, means a lot.
    But choose carefully because you’ll stay in the job you pick for the rest of your life.
    The same job the rest of your life? I didn’t know that.
    What’s the difference?
    You’ll be happy to know that bees, as a species, haven’t had one day off in 27 million years.
    So you’ll just work us to death?
    We’ll sure try.
    Wow! That blew my mind!

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