Shakespeare and the
Globe Theatre

The Biography of William Shakespeare

  • How was he involved with the building of the First Globe Theatre?

  • Where was the Globe situated? What was it like?

  • Layout, Architecture, Capacity of the Globe Theatre

  • Interesting information about the Globe Theatre of William Shakespeare

Picture of the Globe Theatre
of William Shakespeare

 

Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre

Comprehensive Facts and information about the Globe Theatre

THE MOVE TO THE GLOBE THEATRE!

  • The lease of the original 'Theatre' where Shakespeare and the Chamberlain's men performed, expired

  • Burbage tried to re-negotiate the lease with the owner Giles Allen. Allen was a strict Protestant, a Puritan, who totally disapproved of Theatres and Actors! He refused to allow them to extend the lease

  • Burbage, Shakespeare and the company of actors had no alternative but to move out of the 'Theatre' and set up at the nearby Curtain Theatre

  • All negotiations for a new tenancy agreement failed with Giles Allen. He had decided to pull the 'Theatre' down and use the materials to build a new property. The company of actors had different ideas!

  • Apparently a clause in the original agreement allowed them to dismantle the Theatre and make use of the building materials themselves!

  • This is exactly what they did! The players decided to demolish the Theatre and transport the timber to a their new site on Bankside in Southwark

  • Giles Allen was furious! But he could do nothing and the timbers and other material from the old Theatre were used to build the new Globe Theatre

THE GLOBE THEATRE!

  • The Globe theatre was built by a carpenter called Peter Smith together with his workforce

  • They started in 1597 and it was finished in 1598

  • The Globe was built in a similar style to the Coliseum, but on a smaller scale. Never-the-less it still had an audience capacity of over 1500 people and this amount increased to 3000 when people mingling outside the grounds

  • To announce the opening of the new theatre, the Chamberlain’s Men flew a flag featuring the figure of Hercules carrying a Globe on his shoulders

  • Colour coded flags were used to announce all other performances

    • A black flag announced a tragedy , white a comedy and red a history

    • A white flag announced a comedy

    • A red flag announced a history

THE STRUCTURE OF THE GLOBE THEATRE!

  • The structure of the globe was as follows:

    • An octagonal, open air arena about 100 feet in diameter

    • It was made of timber, plaster with thatched roofs

    • The arena was called the 'pit' or the 'yard' and had a raised stage at one end which projected halfway into the 'pit'

    • The arena was surrounded by three tiers of roofed galleries with balconies

    • There were two sets of stairs

    • There was no heating but there was some artificial lighting

    • A roofed structure, which looked like a house, was at the rear of the stage containing props, was supported by two large, ornate pillars called the 'Hut'

    • The pillars supported a roof which was called the ' Heavens ' from which actors would hide and make dramatic flying entrances

    • Behind the pillars was the stage wall called the ' Frons Scenae ' taken from Latin

    • Above the stage wall was the stage gallery that was used by actors, musicians and  rich patrons -  known as ' the Lord's rooms. to the left and right were the 'Gentlemen's Rooms'

  • The picture below is of the New Globe Theatre stage in London


Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre

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