class="groupcontent"> Shakespeare's Globe is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse in the London Borough of Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames. The original Globe Theatre was built in 1599 by the playing company, Lord Chamberlain's Men, using timber from an earlier
theatre which had been built by Richard Burbage's father, James Burbage, in Shoreditch in 1576. With the onset of more favourable weather in the following spring, the material was ferried over the Thames to reconstruct it as The Globe on some marshy gardens to the south of Maiden Lane, Southwark. While only a hundred yards from the congested shore of the Thames, the piece of land was situated close by an area of farmland and open fields. It was poorly drained and, notwithstanding its distance from the river, was liable to flooding at times of particularly high tide; a "wharf" (bank) of raised earth with timber revetments had to be created to carry the building above the flood level. On 29 June 1613 the Globe Theatre went up in flames during a performance of Henry VIII. A theatrical cannon, set off during the performance, misfired, igniting the wooden beams and thatching. The theatre was rebuilt by June 1614 (the exact opening date is not known), but was officially closed by pressure of Puritan opinion in 1642 like all the other theatres in London and demolished in 1644.
The modern reconstruction is an academic approximation based on available evidence of the 1599 and 1614 buildings. It was founded by the actor and director Sam Wanamaker and opened to the public in 1997 under the name "Shakespeare's Globe Theatre", with a production of Henry V and
has staged plays every summer. The site also includes the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, an indoor theatre which opened in January 2014. This is a reconstruction of the Blackfriars Theatre, another Elizabethan theatre.
The modern Globe is located on Bankside, about 230 metres (750 ft) from the original site—measured from centre to centre. The Thames was much wider in Shakespeare's time and the original Globe was on the riverbank, though that site is now far from the river, and the river-side site for the reconstructed Globe was chosen to recreate the atmosphere of the original theatre. Like the original Globe, the modern theatre has a thrust stage that projects into a large circular yard surrounded by three tiers of raked seating. The only covered parts of the amphitheatre are the stage and the seating areas. Plays are staged during the summer, usually between May and the first week of October; in the winter, the theatre is used for educational purposes. Tours are available all year round.
The reconstruction was carefully researched so that the new building would be as faithful a replica of the original as possible. This was aided by the discovery of the remains of the original Rose Theatre, a nearby neighbour to the Globe, as final plans were being made for the site and structure. Performances are engineered to duplicate the original environment of Shakespeare's Globe; there are no spotlights, plays are staged during daylight hours and in the evenings (with the help of interior floodlights), there are no microphones, speakers or amplification. All music is performed live; the actors and the audience can see each other, adding to the feeling of a shared experience and of a community event.
The building itself is constructed entirely of English oak, with mortise and tenon joints and is, in this sense, an "authentic" 16th century timber-framed building, as no structural steel was used. The seats are simple benches (though cushions can be hired for performances) and the Globe has the first and only thatched roof permitted in London since the Great Fire of 1666. The modern thatch is well protected by fire retardants, and sprinklers on the roof ensure further protection against fire. The pit has a concrete surface, as opposed to earthen-ground covered with strewn rush from the original theatre. The theatre has extensive backstage support areas for actors and musicians and is attached to a modern lobby, restaurant, gift shop and visitor centre. Seating capacity is 857 with an additional 700 "groundlings" standing in the pit, making up an audience about half the size of a typical
audience in Shakespeare's time.