I mentioned on Wednesday that I got to go inside the Globe, but then I didn’t really mention anything about the tour itself. So, here – have some information and pictures!
Before the tour I waited in a room that has lots of interesting “exhibits”. For example, there’s a map chronicling the important moments around Shakespeare’s time, plus when they believe he wrote his plays.
I have a smaller version of this on my wall at home. It’s pretty awesome.
The exhibits also include past costumes and props:
There was also what I’m assuming to be a prop from “The Winter’s Tale” – the play with the most famous stage direction (and one of my personal favorites):And for any of you who are interested in the production of Shakespeare’s folios, there was a printing press that you could look at. As much as I wanted to, I did not cross the velvet rope, because I didn’t want to get kicked out before going on the tour.
But then the tour started and we went out into the theatre. Our tour guide was super-knowledgeable and told us all about the rebuilding process and how the theatre would have been in Shakespeare’s times – like how the super-rich-and-important people sat close to the stage so that the audience could see them (as well as the players) better.
He also talked about the penny-groundlings and all the features of the stage – like the trapdoor in the stage, and the trapdoor in the roof above the stage, which was called “the heavens”.
While he was talking to us, a person’s cell phone went off and not only did the person answer it, but she started having a conversation right in the middle of our tour. Our tour guide was astonished and shared the rest of the group’s feeling of “is this actually happening?” He actually had to ask her to hang up, so that he could get on with the tour.
Cell phones have their merits, but in the wrong hands they can make a person extremely rude.
Our tour guide took us up to the second level of seating, then down to the floor. We didn’t get to go backstage because they were setting up for a show (“God of Soho”, which isn’t a Shakespearean play), but we did get to watch stage management mop the stage.
I remember being really impressed with the tour guide we had (especially when he was annoyed by that woman on her phone). I’m sad I didn’t get to see a show, but that’s what happens when a theatre is pretty much sold out and you have limited time in a city.
After the tour we didn’t get to go back to the room with the exhibits so, if you’re doing the tour, I would say plan to be there early and get a look at all the exhibits.
Also, the Globe has a pretty nice gift shop. And you know me – I’m all about gift shops.