A of English writers, William Shakespeare, BenJohnson,
A seventeenth century English theatre in Southwark, London(). Also known,as an Elizabethan theatre was most notable for the initial and contemptuousproductions of the dramatic works of English writers, William Shakespeare, BenJohnson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and others.
In 1576, a carpenter named JamesBurbage built the first theatre in England, which he called, simply, TheTheatre, the first time the word was used to refer to a building specificallydesigned for the staging of plays(). It was built in partnership withShakespeare and others. It was constructed in the Renaissance era, and drew verylarge crowds. Due to its advancements in technology, props, and its use ofmusic, the Globe always packed in very large crowds of people, even royalty.
TheGlobe was built by James Burbage in 1576, and rebuilt in 1598, by his sons.James built the The Theatre, and it prospered for nearly twenty-one years.In 1597, James Burbage died, leaving the Theatre to his two sons. Things beganto get rough for the Theatre after James died. The landowner Giles Allencaused an unexpected problem(). Giles raised the rent and refused to renewthe lease, so one cold night in December 1598, with much assistance from others,the Burbage brothers disassembled the Theatre, and piece by piece theytook it by ferry across the Thanes River to the opposite shore. In a shortperiod of time the Theatre was rebuilt, only now it was to be called the Globetheatre.
The original Theatre stood approximately forty-feet tall, and wassaid to be more than one-hundred feet in diameter, built in a circular shapewith twenty-four sides. The yard went seventy feet between post centers. Thestage was forty-nine feet six inches across, and was about five feet tall. Theoverall gallery depth was fifteen feet six inches; overall floor height from onefloor to another was fifteen feet six inches. The balcony floor was eighteenfeet six inches, above the yard, and thirteen feet six inches above the stage.
And the doors stood eleven feet tall(). The stage was quite large, and itsexterior definitely displayed its great immensity. After the Theatre wasbuilt the, and became established, it became known as the Wooden OPlayhouse,() because of its twenty four sided shape and its open roof, fromthe top it had the appearance of an O. After the opening of theTheatre, many people were excited to have a new place to go and beentertained, however, many people were unhappy with the establishment. Many ofthe locals were outraged, calling it a public nuisance a disturbance!The churches thought that the company-players were just that, players, becausethey did not create a usable product, one that one could put their finger on,like the blacksmiths ironworks, or the cobblers shoes. Granted, the Globes playsdid lure play goers away from their work, but it was not their fault that theyhad such loyal, and royal fans.
People became outraged for whatever reason, andthe playhouses future was up in the air. Soon the Theatre was shutdown, the land that the Theatre was built on belonged to the mostrehensable man, he raised the rent to a very unfair amount and they were forcedto shutdown. Although they were forced to close, they had plans to reopen soon.In late December 1598, the Burbage sons had the Theatre unassembled andbeing that it was December, it was very cold outside.
The Thames River wasfrozen, which made it easier on the haul, because they could use sleds to getthe Theatre across piece by piece. It took four days to accomplish, buteventually they had the entire theatre across the Thames. The timbers,framework, and anything of value that could be saved were. The Theatre wasrebuilt in quite a timely manner. The new theatre was a sight to see it wasquite beautiful.
The seating capacity was some where between two and threethousand. Under the gallery was special seating where royalty and nobles sat inchairs. Most people were in the pit, in the front of the stage, they hadto stand, and visibility was poor due to the rather tall stage. To be agroundling and stand in the yard, it cost a penny. The people that stood in theyard or in the pit consisted of apprentices and servants, or anyone who had apenny to spare. For a penny more (two cents) one could sit in a chair or on abench, and watch the play. And for yet another penny, (three cents) one couldsit under the gallery on a cushioned chair (usually only royalty).
Just outsidethe gates to the playhouse, there were many stands. Bawdy houses, pubs, andtaverns that did booming business (). Pimps and prostitutes plied theirtrades, venders hawked their wares, and pickpockets, and thieves, and swindlersthrived. Hazelnuts, ale, apples, beer, water, oranges, nuts, gingerbread, andsuch were hawked as refreshments, or as a token of disapproval(). Audienceswould not hesitate to loudly criticize players, but they would be just as quickto attentively listen to a great performance.
Since all of the Southwarksproperty belonged to the Bishops of Winchester, the church profited greatly,pocketing the revenue from the pimps and brothels. Since the Fathersconsidered play going immoral, they prohibited the theatre managers from luringcustomers through advertising. But the managers ingeniously triumphed overPuritan strictures; as two o clock neared, a raised flag and a trumpetfanfare proclaimed that the performance was about to begin(). The flagindicated the days feature.
For example, black signified tragedy, whitesignified comedy, and red signified history. If one wanted to go to a show butwere on the opposite shore, wherry boats transported patrons across the Thamesto Southwark. Shrewdly the wherry men would withhold the price of transportuntil they were halfway across the river, and were unable to escape the fare.There is said to be a time when the playhouses were so popular, that over twothousand wherry boats traveled to and from the theatre district. Once one gotacross the Thames, then one would walk to the entrance, where then one woulddrop their admission into a box (hence box office). Ticket prices varied,depending on the location of ones seat. The most exclusive of guests would siton the stage.
The players were called the Chamberlains men, later known asthe Kings men. The cast consisted of all males, males of all age were allowedto perform, however, no females were allowed to perform. Males played allcharacters, male and female.
Because of this, the cast became known as theChamberlains men. After much trouble with the plague (Black Death) theChamberlains became known as the Kings men. The plague was a very devastatingproblem among the theatre. The Black Death spread so quickly through thecountry, that throughout the reign of Queen Bess and even King Henry the VIII,at first wind of the plague, theatres were to close, for it was law. This hurtbusiness greatly, because they could be closed for several months at a time.Other than the plague, the Globe theatre had other hard times as well. Since theGlobe was a twenty four sided circular shaped structure, with only a minimalthatched grass roof, and an open center, any time that the weather was adversethey would be forced to close down.
They would have to stay closed for as longas the weather persisted. This could go on for sometimes months. The only othertimes that the theatre was not open was in the winter when the weather was toocold to bear, and on Sundays.
The theatre in general was a fair weatheronly operation. The Globe was forced to close for many various reasons. Nonequite spelled disaster like the time that the Globe burned to the ground.Trouble came in 1613, during a performance of Shakespeares Henry the VIIIplay. A fire started when a cannon discharged, and the thatched grass roofcaught on fire.
The whole building burnt down in less than an hour. Thesurprising fact is that, every person, all three thousand, got out safely. Noone was injured(). Almost a year later in 1614, the theatre was rebuilt. Itstood for another thirty years, until 1644, when the Puritans razed it.The Puritans took it over because they believed that the theatres were evil, andshould not exist. They took it over and tore it down.
Now thats all thatstands in its place is a small pub. What started out to be a small time theatre,was nothing of he sort. James Burbage built the Theatre, after he passedhis sons rebuilt it and called it the Globe, they later had to rebuildafter a fire, and finally many years the Puritans took it over, putting an endto the legend of the Globe theatre. The Globe was a well-known theatre wheremany famous play writers like Ben Johnson and William Shakespeare put onperformances.
It was infamously associated with William Shakespeare, however,the Globe was popular for many reasons. The Globe was the first theatre of itstype. It was very advanced for its time; the Globe would captivate audienceswith the use of a wide variety of props and music, when such things were notreadily available.
The Globe drew large crowds of people from all over, it wasnot uncommon to see famous people and even royalty at performances. The Globewas a special theatre with lots of memorable attributes, and none of it wouldhave been possible if it were not for the loyal/ royal fans. Thanks to them,both the myth and the legend of the Globe theatre will live on.Theater