Despite being named after Shakespeare, the actor turned writer only owned 12.5% of the shares in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men company. His shares further diminished over his career, ending at just 7%. The Globe Theatre was designed to house up to 3000 people, from commoners to high society. The three-storey building was 100 feet (30 metres) in diameter with an open-air design – a real estate agent’s spin on not having a roof.
Globe Theatre London Private Guided Tours
Originally built by Shakespeare’s playing company in 1599, the Globe Theatre in London features plays both modern and old. Tragedy seemed to follow Shakespeare not only in writing, for the Globe Theatre burned to the ground in 1613 just 14 years after its opening. One year later, a second Globe Theatre was opened. It was shut permanently, however, 28 years later during the First English Civil War by Parliament Ordinance and converted into apartment buildings. It wasn’t until 1997 that the Globe Theatre would re-emerge via a modern reconstruction.
The first play ever performed in the Globe Theatre was Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, but other playwrights, such as John Fletcher – whose fame rivalled Shakespeare’s at the time –, had their plays performed in the theatre. When it reopened in 1997, surprisingly, it was not one of Shakespeare’s plays first performed, and instead a German play. Shakespeare references the Globe Theatre in Henry V and The Tempest, meaning which is lost unless viewed at the Globe Theatre. Before the time of the internet, the only way to know which play was being performed was via flags hanging outside the theatre. Black flags referred to tragedies, red flags to history, and white flags to comedies.
The Globe Theatre is a faithful recreation based on designs from 1599 and 1614 and allows visitors to feel what it was like to be alive during Shakespearian times. The current building was constructed about 230 metres from the original theatre. Although the exact size of the original building is unknown it's agree that it could house around 3,000 audience members and was a three-storey, open-air amphitheatre of about 30 metres diameter. Originally thought to be round, recent excavations suggest that it was in fact polygonal with 20 sides.