Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is an open-air playhouse built as a reconstruction of the building where the great playwright penned many of his plays.

The first Globe Theatre was built in I 1599 by William Shakespeare's company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men. It was destroyed by fire on 29th June 1613, but a second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by the following June and continued till 1642.

A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named Shakespeare's Globe, opened in 1997 approximately 750ft (230m) from the site of the original theatre. It's the only building in London permitted to have a thatched roof, and is faithful to the 1599 original in its design. It was founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker (1919-1993) and is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote, through performance and education.

The Globe Exhibition & Tour gives you an opportunity to learn more about this fascinating building and Shakespeare. Based beneath the theatre, the exhibition uses modern technology and traditional crafts to explore the life of the Bard, the London where he lived and the theatre for which he wrote. But it's the tours that bring the theatre to life with colourful stories of the 1599 Globe, the reconstruction process and how the 'wooden 0' works today.

You can stand in the pit, where the `groundlings' gather to watch the performances, and admire the oak-framed building and its massive stage. In 2012, work was underway on an indoor Jacobean theatre adjacent to the open-air Globe, allowing plays to take place year-round.

Free Entry to The Shakespeare's Globe Theatre with The London Pass

Look out for…

  • Reconstruction of the original Elizabethan playhouse built In 1599
  • Authentic timber frame building with an open-air stage

Did you know?…

  • Shakespeare's Globe is the only building in London permitted to have a thatched roof
  • Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets during his lifetime – this works out as an average 1.5 plays a year since he first started writing in 1589
  • As well as being a playwright, Shakespeare was an accomplished actor, family man, property owner and manager of an acting company and theatre
  • The original theatre burnt down in 1613 because of a miss-fired cannon during a Henry VIII performance
  • His plays are associated with the Elizabethan times, yet most of his popular works were written in the Jacobean era
  • Although he was a famous playwright in London, in his hometown of Stratford he was a well-known businessman and property owner
  • At his grave in Stratford-upon-Avon, he put a curse on his epitaph daring anyone to move his bones to give way for more grave space, as was common at the time
  • To maintain the true sense of a Shakespearean play and experience, there are no spotlights, microphones, speakers or amplification and all music is performed live on period instruments

Museum Video

Museum Facilities


Audio Guide

Wheelchair Access


Tour Guide




Venue Hire

All information is drawn from or provided by the museums themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.