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 – “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”
Richard Ii at Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – 22 Feb to 21 Apr 2019 – The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will be putting on an intimate candlelit production of William Shakespeare's Richard II.
Romeo And Juliet at Globe Theatre – 28 Feb, 2, 7, 9, 16, 21 and 23 Mar 2019 – The Globe Theatre will be putting on a fast-paced performance of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
Somerset House Historical Highlights – Every Thu and Sat – This tour has tales about Tudor intrigues and the extravagant entertainments laid on during Georgian times
Guided walk around Charles Dickens’ London – Every Fri – This guided walk will take you around some of the most memorable streets and locations that Charles Dickens used in his novels.
11 — London’s cheapest sightseeing bus – Every day – If you don't fancy spending money on an open-top sightseeing bus, then there's a cheaper alternative — the No 11 bus.
City Highlights: The Top 10 sights – Every Mon, Wed and Sun – A two-hour guided walk around the Square Mile, showing you some of the most famous historical sites and buildings in the City of London.
Mansion House: The Lord Mayor’s Residence – Every Tue – Look inside the Lord Mayor of London's official residence at Mansion House and see the interior courtyard and famous Egyptian Hall.
You might like too try these other literary events in London
Look for more guided tours in February
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)