Step back in time and see how they staged a play in the 1590s, by booking a guided tour of the Globe Theatre -- a faithful reconstruction of the Elizabethean playhouse that William Shakespeare performed in.
The tour begins outside on the veranda overlooking the Thames, with an introduction about what life was really like in Southwark. This was the seedy side of London. Everything frowned upon was banished to the southside of the river -- including Shakespeare's plays. Then you will then learn about the theatre itself and how it came to be built, burned down, and reconstructed.
The guide will then take you inside the theatre and sit you down in the balcony seats, and explain how a play was performed in the 16th-century. She'll explain how actors would bound out from the back, charge through the pit, and try and involve the crowd as much as possible -- even using them as actors for the crowd scenes!
Once the tour is over you will be invited to explore the big exhibition underneath the theatre, which goes into more detail about the archaeology of Elizabethan London, showcasing some old props, scenery and costumes from Shakespeare's day.
Craig has been on this guided tour himself, and definitely recommends it. Read his review on of the Globe Theatre tour on his blog before you go, so you get a feeling for what it's like. Feel free to ask him some questions as well. He's also been to watch a play at the Globe as well (Julius Caesar), so you might like to read that one as well. That one gives you a better idea of what it's like to sit there during a performance. Check out our guide to Shakespeare plays in London to see what's on.
If you're a big fan of William Shakespeare then why not take a day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon? It sounds almost unbelievable, but you can still see the original Tudor-framed house that he was born in. You can also visit his grave in Holy Trinity Church. If you'd rather stay a bit closer to home then you can see a few bits and bobs at the British Library, and a Shakespeare's monument in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.
> Craig’s review of this event – “I consider myself to be reasonably well educated. I'm not quite on the Albert Einstein level, but put it this way: I went to school. I'm not thick. I can do all the usual stuff: I can tie my shoelaces, I can count to ten, I can recite the alphabet backwards, I can say "please can I have a ham sandwich" in French... and that's pretty much all you need to know… continued”
Henry Iv Part I at Globe Theatre – 23 Apr to 11 Oct 2019 – The first part of Shakespeare's history of Henry IV which tells the story of Harry Hotspur's battle with Prince Hal to become king of England
Henry Iv Part Ii at Globe Theatre – 25 Apr to 11 Oct 2019 – The second part of Henry IV follows Falstaff's attempts to raise an army for the dying king whilst wishing for the war to be over
Henry V at Globe Theatre – 30 Apr to 11 Oct 2019 – When the French dismiss Henry V's claim to his ancestral lands across the Channel he marches the English army to Agincourt
Twelfth Night at Globe Theatre – 4, 7 May, 17 Jun, 13, 16, 18 and 21 Aug 2019 – Twelfth Night is a farcical tale of mistaken identities and is one of William Shakespeare's most popular comedies
Pericles at Globe Theatre – 5, 9 May, 18 Jun, 15 and 21 Aug 2019 – Prince Pericles flees his kingdom and takes to the sea for an adventure that leaves him shipwrecked and fighting for his love
Comedy Of Errors at Globe Theatre – 6, 11 May, 18, 21 Jun, 14, 18, 20 and 23 Aug 2019 – Shakespeare's witty play of mistaken identity sees two sets of estranged twins wandering through the streets of the same town
Merry Wives Of Windsor at Globe Theatre – 17 May to 12 Oct 2019 – See one of Shakespeare's best-loved characters get his comeuppance when Falstaff tries to woo the Merry Wives of Windsor
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Look for more guided tours in April
If you enjoy Globe Theatre then you might like to visit British Library (catch the train from Southwark to Kings Cross St Pancras), Charles Dickens Museum (walk it in 28 mins or catch the tube from Southwark to Russell Square) and Dr. Johnson’s House (walk it in 14 mins or catch the tube from Southwark to Temple)
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