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William Shakespeare

The Globe Theatre

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globe.jpg
The famous Globe Theatre

 

Facts on 'The Globe':
 
The Globe theatre was were Shakespeare's finest plays were performed. It was built in 1599 during the last reign of Elizabeth 1 and was one of the first playhouses to open in London. Here are some interesting facts about the Globe Theatre:
  • Above the main entrance was inscribed the words " Totus Mundus Agit Histrionem" which meant 'the world is a playhouse' this became the Globe's motto.
  • The cost to view a play was one penny (10% of a workers daily wage) where you could stand in the yard at the centre of the playhouse. There was no overhead roof so if it rained you would get wet and there was no seating but you got the closest view in the house. Or for 2 pennies you could sit in the circular galleries where its undercover adn generally more comfortable.
  • The audiences had to use alot of there imagination- there were no backdrops, no lighting and few if any props. Because there were no lights the plays usually occured in the early afternoon from 2PM till 4 or 5.

Tragedy strikes, Twice:

On June 29th 1613 while Henry VIII was being performed a canon fired during the play ignited the playhouses thatched roof burning the playhouse to the ground, luckily no one was badly hurt. One year later the playhouse reopened and was rebuilt just opposite the original theatre, this time wisely enough, the thatched roof was replaced with tiles.

In 1642 during the Civil War, the Puritans closed all playhouses down. They were no longer a place of laughter but of evil sin. In 1644, the famous playhouse was taken down and in its presence replaced by housing- this was the end of a great era.

 

The Structure:
 
  • Gatherer's stoppd at the door with boxes to collect admission moeny. This is why a ticket office is called a box office.
  • The Stage known as an apron stage, stuck out into the middle of the yard. It was covered by a roof to keep the actors dry if it rained.
  • The ceiling over the stage was called the shadow or heavens. It was painted with sun, moon and stars.
  • Behind the stage there was a backstage area where the actors got changed.
  • The stage was 1.5m high so people could'nt jump onto it.
  • The stage was positioned so the sun didnt shine in the actors eyes.

 

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