Dwarfed by Tate Modern, but equally remarkable in its own way, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a more or less faithful reconstruction of the polygonal playhouse where most of the Bard’s later works were first performed. The theatre, which boasts the first new thatched roof in central London since the Great Fire, puts on plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, using only natural light and the minimum of scenery. To find out more about Shakespeare and the history of Bankside, the Globe’s stylish exhibition is well worth a visit. You can have a virtual play on medieval instruments such as the crumhorn or sackbut, prepare your own edition of Shakespeare, and feel the thatch, hazelnut-shell and daub used to build the theatre. There’s also an informative guided tour round the theatre itself; during the summer season, you get to visit the exhibition and the remains of the nearby Rose Theatre instead.
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