One of the great joys of the British summer has to be taking a stroll along the Southbank and ending up at Shakespeare’s iconic Globe for some open air theater. It was the first purpose-built theater in London, constructed in 1576 by actor-manager James Burbage. Shakespeare was a part of the resident troupe in the 1580s, and although he may have acted in the second Globe – a rebuilt version after the theater fire of 1613 – it is thought he never wrote for it. After the closure of all the theaters under England’s Puritan administration in 1642, in 1644 it was demolished to make room for tenements.
The reconstruction of the Globe in 1997, initiated by American actor and director Sam Wanamaker has ensured that the iconic theater has become a well-loved landmark of London’s landscape. Standing just a few hundred yards from the original Globe, visitors can enjoy plays, tours, exhibitions and courses. As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing have just opened and while it sounds unglamorous, there’s surely no better way to see Shakespeare’s works than standing in the yard. Standing tickets cost £5.00.
Images courtesy of Pawel Libera and John Tramper