On the bank of the River Thames in Bankside's cultural quarter you’ll find Shakespeare's Globe Theatre — a faithfully reconstructed replica of the original 16th-century building — and one of the most atmospheric settings to see some of the most famous plays ever written.
Photo by Pawel Libera This is just the time to visit too, as it’s Shakespeare’s birthday on 23 April. To celebrate, The Globe will become a bustling hub of theatrical happenings for the coming weeks, with all kinds of performances taking place. "Globe to Globe" will see 37 international companies present all of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages, and the 2012 theatre season will open soon after. Former artistic director Mark Rylance will return to the Globe to play the lead in a new production of Richard III and to reprise his widely celebrated performance of Olivia in Twelfth Night. He will be joined in Twelfth Night by Stephen Fry as Malvolio.
Photo by John Tramper All of these productions take place in one of London’s most beautiful buildings, a reconstruction of an Elizabethan playhouse and the only thatched building in the city since the Great Fire of London. Tours of the theatre are available every day, alongside a detailed Exhibition about Shakespeare and the history of his playhouses. For every single performance, ticket prices start at £5 — that gets you a standing place in the pit as a ‘groundling’ and the best view in the house!
Photo by Manuel Harlan After the play, head to the Swan bar for a drink or have dinner at the restaurant, both of which have stunning views of the theatre, the River Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral. In what promises to be an action-packed year, with the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics generating a major buzz in London, Shakespeare’s Globe sits at the heart of it all. Come and find out why this man, his work and his theatre have had such a profound impact.
This is a guest post by Ryan Nelson, former Digital Manager at Shakespeare’s Globe (@RyanJohnNelson) (@The_Globe)