Shakespeare’s Globe is coming to the UAE
Shakespeare’s Globe is coming to the UAE: Our autumn/winter theatrical season won’t be upon us for a couple of months yet. But while it seems like the rest of the country is leaving work early and dreaming of their summer hols, we’re actually like ducks on a mill pond – calm on the surface but working away like mad under the water to ensure everything is in place for ‘curtains up’ come September.
You see this year, we’ve been lucky enough to secure a tour date with the world famous Shakespeare’s Globe for their unforgettable production Two Gentlemen of Verona.
If you’re not so familiar with The Globe, let us enlighten you. It is, arguably, the most prestigious and well regarded theatre company in the world that specializes in the works of William Shakespeare.
What is the Globe Theatre?
The famous Globe Theatre – also known as Shakespeare’s Globe, was originally built in 1557 on the South Bank of London’s River Thames. It was built in a large, circular, doughnut configuration to maximize audience viewing. It could seat up to 3,000 people. The base of the theatre just below the stage was called The Pit – and this was where the poorest audiences viewed the shows.
William Shakespeare bought a 12 per cent stake in the Globe and as his popularity as a playwright grew, the theatre became increasingly associated with his productions. Unfortunately, in 1613, disaster struck and it was burned to the ground after a special effect on stage (during a production of Henry VII) when wrong and a cannon set the thatched roof on fire. Within two hours, the theatre had burned down completely. Nobody was killed – miraculously, although one audience member was injured.
The Globe today
In 1997, actor and philanthropist Sam Wannamaker fulfilled a lifetime’s dream and restored the Globe in all it’s traditional glory to the banks of the Thames. The theatre, now called Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, is a world wide tourism attraction and was built using traditional methods and materials in line with the original building (although the fire regulations are better!). It was built using 1,000 oak trees from English forests and 6,000 bundles of reeds from Norfolk for the thatched roof.
Productions at Shakespeare’s Globe
Using the best Shakespearean traditions, productions by The Globe are considered world class performances and are carried out by highly trained actors specialising in the works of Shakespeare. The theatre is also home to Globe Education, which aims to educate school children and students in the finer aspects of Shakespearean life and works. We’ve been lucky enough to host several Globe experts in the UAE, who held workshops in schools to help students understand the language and themes of Shakespeare’s plays.