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Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre was an Elizabethan theatre, built about 1598, in London's Bankside district. It was one of four major theatres in the area, the others being the Swan, the Rose, and the Hope.

The Globe Theatre

Several of Shakespeare's plays were first staged there.

The Globe burned to the ground in 1613, apparently set on fire by a cannon shot during a performance of Henry VIII that ignited the thatched roof of the gallery. It was rebuilt immediately, this time with a tiled roof, reopening in July of the following year.

Like all other theatres, it was closed down by the Puritans in 1642, and it was destroyed in 1644 to make room for tenements.

The modern Globe

At the instigation of Sam Wanamaker, a new Globe theatre was built according to an Elizabethan plan. It opened in 1997.

The new theatre is a short distance from the original site, and was the first thatched-roof building permitted in London since the Great Fire of London of 1666. The original plan was modified by the addition of sprinklers on the roof, to protect against fire.

As in the original, both the stage and the audience are outdoors. Plays are put on during the summer, and in the winter the theatre is used for educational purposes, and tours are available.

Prior to the opening of the new theatre in 1997 there had been a West End theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue bearing that name. It was renamed Gielgud Theatre in 1995, after John Gielgud.

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