The Globe – Shakespeare`s theatre Part II

Dear friends, Training Centre Raya London continues to help with your English language education. We are continuing to introduce interesting themes, related to the British history, life, and culture. To follow the translation and accumulate better vocabulary you could switch between both versions of our blog – English and Bulgarian. Therefore, your progress in learning English language will come naturally.

We are going onward with the history of the famous Shakespeare`s theatre – The Globe:

After the Globe was built on his new place, situated in a larger building, the theatre started to welcome its first audience. It’s controversial which was the first performance, that was played on the scene. One of the theories is that it was ‘Henry V’, but more likely it was the one, described by the Swiss traveler and played on the 21st September, 1599 ‘Iulius Caesar’. In any case, the first record, showing what the programme of the theatre during the same year was, starts with the play of Ben Johnson ‘Every Man out of His Humour’.

The theatre had a relatively short live as in June, 1613, it was destroyed by a fire, due to problems with one of the stage guns during the performance of ‘Henry VIII’. The woodwork burst into flames. The breaches of someone from the audience were also set on fire, but that was extinguished straightaway with a bottle of Ale.

Anyway, the theatre was built again the following year, but in 1644 was closed by the Puritans along with all other theatres. And as we have already mentioned in part I, to avoid being forgotten this wonderful building, was recreated 230meters away from its original position. And again, the first performance was ‘Henry V’. This theatrically and historically important event took place in 1997.

There is no direct evidence of the form and the size of the original building. But after a lot of research of different texts, sketches, and paintings from those times it can be said that the building, was round on three floors with seats situated amphitheatrically and with diameter around 30 m. The theatre could fit about 3000 people. In front of the stage there was an empty space, called ‘yard’, where for a penny people could watch the performance as standing audience. The stage itself was about 13m long with a depth of 8 meters and it was made so it can raise approximately a meter and a half above the ground. The actors were leaded in front of the audience through wooden lid from a basement under the floor. From both sides thick columns supported the arch, which was painted as a sky with clouds. Above it, there was also a lid through which the actors, with the help of a rope, could go down if it was required by the plot.

An interesting theory about the name of the theatre was given by Edmond Malone – a publisher of Shakespeare`s plays. He claims that the theatre had a flag on which along with the motto ‘Because all the world is a playground’ (quod fere totus mundus exerceat historionem) also stood an image of Hercules, who had lifted the globe, relieving God Atlas. Exactly this globe, gives the name of this remarkable building.

Today on the place of the original foundations of the theatre, stands a memorial, placed there by the Shakespeare`s society in London with the help of admirers of his poetic works from all Great Britain and India. Under a relief map of old London and Shakespeare himself stands the sign: ‘Here stood the Globe Playhouse of Shakespeare, 1598 – 1613.

Friends of Training Centre Raya London, we hope that we have managed to attract your interest towards the English theatrical speech and eventually to attend one of the plays in the famous Shakespeare`s theatre – The Globe. Meanwhile keep learning English with us.


Author: Iveta Radeva

Training Centre Raya London is a new and fastly developing English Language School specialized in teaching English as a second language. Founded in 2015 we are small enough to provide a personal service, but large enough to have very good facilities and resources for the students to learn English in UK.