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The Globe Theatre

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All about The Globe Theatre

The Chamberlains Men performed in a theatre, called ‘The Theatre’. The men had an argument with the landlord, so they tore the theatre and used the wood to build The Globe.

The Globe Theatre was constructed in 1599, in Southwark, London. It was an open-aired circular theatre that could house 3,000 audience members. It was 3 stories high, and 100 feet wide. The stage alone was 28 feet deep, 5 feet tall, and 43 feet wide. The stage was cleverly positioned, so that the sun would not be too bright for the actors while they were performing.  The theatre had a thatched roof, and brick foundations. There were 2 wooden pillars that supported the roof going over the stage. These were painted to look like marble, too add a touch of class. Shakespeare owned a share in the Globe, so received roughly 10% of the theatres profit. There were 2 performances in The Globe every day, and most of Shakespeare’s plays were performed here. If the audience members wanted a cushion, they had to pay an additional penny. If people did not have enough money to pay the full price and have the privilege of a seat, there was a cheaper option. People could pay a smaller price and they surround the stage, standing the whole time. These spectators were called groundlings.

In 1613 The Globe burnt down when a spark from a cannon during a performance of Henry VIII, burnt the highly flammable thatched roof. A new Globe was built the following year. This Globe lasted until 1644, when the Puritans tore it down during the Civil War.

An American actor, Sam Wanamaker decided to build a replica of the Globe Theatre. The construction began in 1970, and finished in 1977. The globe was named Shakespeare’s Globe. The replica was very similar, but not exactly the same as the previous ones. It was 200 yards from the original site. It was an outdoor theatre, and it could only house half the number of spectators as the first. The builders learnt their lesson, so the new one had a tiled roof.

 

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