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Old & New


Second Globe as drawn by Wencesaus Hollar

In 1599 William Shakespeare and his fellow actors paid for their own playhouse to be built out of the timbers of The Theatre. They called it The Globe and there they staged the first productions of many of Shakespeare's finest plays as well as works by other playwrights, such as Ben Jonson and Fletcher, who took over from Shakespeare as the King's Men's principal playwright when Will retired.

The Rose playhouse was the Globe's greatest rival.

Visit the Globe Playhouse section of our Book Shop for a list of recommended books about the Globe and other playhouses of the time. Many of the books may be bought from or


Image of new Shakespeare's Globe

In 1997 close to the site of the original playhouse, Queen Elizabeth officially opened the new theatre known as Shakespeare's Globe on London's Bankside overlooking the River Thames. It is a faithful reproduction of the original and, was built thanks to decades of work by the American actor Sam Wanamaker.

The 2016 season, is the twentieth at Shakespeare's Globe. The season entitled “Wonder” consists of four mainstream Shakespeare productions. It is the first season under the artistic director Emma Rice. I personally am not happy with the results. The theatre should be renamed Emma Rice's Globe. She apparently knows better than the Bard how his plays should be written and performed.



Original Globe

In 1598 Shakespeare's acting company carried the timbers from the dismantled Theatre across the Thames to Bankside. There they used the timbers as the frame of their new playhouse they called the Globe. In 1613 it burnt down but they again rebuilt it. For more details click on the link.

What we believe the original Globe looked like

In 1989 the Museum of London excavated a small section of the Globe's foundations. Here's what they found.

The Globe's great rival playhouse, its star Edward Alleyn and owner Philip Henslowe

New Globe

The American actor Sam Wanamaker worked hard for decades to make the new Globe a reality, but he didn't live to see it built. Here's the story of how the new Shakespeare's Globe came to be built on London's Bankside in the 1990's

A list of links to previews and my reviews of every season since 1997 at Shakespeare's Globe. Also links to other Blobe pages.

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Recommended Books

My list of recommended books about the Globe, the Rose and other playhouses of the time may be found in the Globe Playhouse section of the Well Furlong Book Shop . If you so wish, you may go on to buy many of the volumes in our Book Shop directly from or


The official Shakespeare's Globe site