The Globe was erected in 1599 using lumber from an older theatre, The Theatre, which was built in 1576 in Shoreditch by Richard Burbage's father, James Burbage. When the lease expired, the theatre was removed beam by beam and hauled across the Thames to be rebuilt as The Globe. This time it used new material: pine instead of oak for the frame and thatch instead of dutch tiles for the roof.
Burbage made many improvements to the theatre during its second life. He installed wooden floors and walls, which were more durable than the dirt floor and stone wall of the original theatre. He also replaced some of the less-than-adequate scenery that had been installed by his predecessor.
When the theatre reopened, there were already about a dozen other companies in London performing dramas written by Shakespeare and others. So how did The Globe manage to draw such large audiences? Its main advantage was that you could see the entire play for a penny, rather than having to pay per view like today. Also, there were no intermissions, so people could come and go as they pleased throughout the performance.
The most popular plays were performed over and over again. These included tragedies like Hamlet and Othello, and comedies like A Winter's Tale and Twelfth Night. There were also special performances of religious dramas written by Shakespeare and others.
Burbage, Richard The Globe Theatre was erected at Southwark on the south bank of London's River Thames between 1597 and 1599, sponsored by Richard Burbage and built by carpenter Peter Smith and his workmen. It was originally called "The Rose" and then "The New Place". In 1606 it was renamed after the theatre in London's West End; today it is known as "The Globe".
Burbage took out a patent for this new type of theatre a year before the first performance was given at which time he was also responsible for hiring the actors. The queen granted him a license to build such theatres in her name. This is evidence that she must have liked what she saw because Burbage later married Elizabeth's leading actress, who was also named Elizabeth.
Burbage died in 1568 or 1569, but the Globe Theatre continued to operate until 1613 when it was destroyed in a fire. The site has been used for various other projects since then including a house built in 1702 which still stands. Today, part of the Globe Yard where the theatre stood is open as a small museum with exhibits about its history.
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After Burbage died, his wife Elizabeth continued to act in the theatre he had built them together.
The theatre was in Southwark, just over the Thames from the City of London. Shakespeare's troupe only built the Globe because they couldn't utilize the unique roofed facility, Blackfriars Theatre, that James Burbage (the father of their main actor, Richard Burbage) had erected for them inside the city in 1596. Without a place to perform out-of-doors during the winter months, the company decided to build their own.
The theatre was an open-air performance space with a thatched roof. It stood in the middle of London Bridge Road today, which at the time was a muddy track leading up to the city wall. The theatre could accommodate up to 1500 people and it is believed that all seats were sold for every performance.
Globe tickets went on sale at the gate of the theatre on Bishopsgate Street, near where they are now located, New York. They cost 2 pence per day for adults and 1 penny for children under 12. This is the same price as entrance fees into some of London's most popular entertainment venues today. In fact, the Globe is estimated to have drawn more spectators than any other theatre in England at this time.
There were no television or radio broadcasts in Elizabethan times so news stories made it into print first. The playwright Thomas Knyvet wrote articles about the theatre scene in London for the English newspaper The Daily Courant between 1602 and 1607.
Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, erected the Globe in 1599 from the timbers of London's first permanent theater, Burbage's Theater, which was completed in 1576. The original Globe had no roof and was open to the elements. As many as 50 people may have attended a performance, which lasted three hours.
The Globe was destroyed by fire on July 4, 1613. It was rebuilt within a year by James Harrison, who also built Southwark Bridge too. This is the bridge you see today over the same river site - the old one was demolished after the new one was built.
Note that the Globe Theatre did not open in London until 1599, nearly 20 years after Shakespeare started writing for the company. Before then, he wrote for various other companies including the Lord Chamberlain's Men, the King's Men, and possibly others.
Also note that the Globe Theatre was not the only theatre in London during its time - there were at least another dozen theatres around town. The Globe probably accounted for most of the plays performed in London during its first decade.
Finally, note that while it is true that Shakespeare's works were widely popular among audiences during his lifetime, it is also true that libel suits were common back then.