A close up of a white timber framed building

OUR STORY.

An overview of Shakespeare’s Globe today

Founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare’s Globe celebrates Shakespeare’s transformative impact on the world by conducting a radical theatrical experiment.

A man leans his cheek upon his hand, smiling.

In 1970 Sam Wanamaker founded the Shakespeare Globe Trust. Photographer: Tom Boutling.

Inspired and informed by the unique historic playing conditions of two beautiful, iconic theatres, our diverse programme of work harnesses the power of performance, cultivates intellectual curiosity and excites learning to make Shakespeare accessible for all.

Based in London, our site is home to two venues – the Globe Theatre and Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. We welcome over 1.25 million visitors a year from all over the world to:

Take part in workshops and lectures.

Enjoy guided tours of our two theatres.

Watch plays.

Performances seen by visitors experiment in many different ways with the original playing conditions of Shakespeare’s theatre.

Also, since the opening of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, we have been able to present works written specifically for an indoor theatre and to offer a year-round artistic programme.

A group of people are shown around the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse theatre, they look up to the ceiling

A group tour the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Did you know? We have performed every play in the Shakespeare canon, many of them several times and in a thrilling variety of different styles.

Audience members sit on an outdoor balcony watching a play in the Globe Theatre

Now 23 years old, the Globe Theatre remains one of the most unique, remarkable and breathtaking theatrical spaces in London.

An indoor wooden playhouse lit by candles

The intimate Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opened in 2014 and hosts plays, concerts, education workshops and events throughout the year.

Many productions also enjoy an extended life online through Globe Player (the first digital platform of its kind), on the big screen and on television.

We are also a major venue for concerts and special events and we have produced many world premieres of new plays, a number of which have gone on to enjoy success in the West End, on Broadway and beyond.

‘Our Hamlet visited almost every nation on earth.’

An actor wearing black sits on a box, holding a human skull aloft and addressing it

Ladi Emeruwa in the 2014 Globe to Globe production of Hamlet On Tour, performing here in Poland, 2014.

In recent years our long-standing reputation for international performance was consolidated by the Globe to Globe Festival, which in 2012 presented every Shakespeare play, each in a different language at the Globe, and by our world-wide tour of Hamlet, which after its astonishing two-year journey had visited almost every nation on earth.

Our productions of Shakespeare now tour throughout the UK, Europe, the United States and Asia, while our educational work is extending overseas, notably through our forthcoming teaching centres in the USA and China.

Three students performing in a workshop

Our education department was founded in 1989 and runs workshops, courses and events for people of all ages on Bankside as well as outreach projects in schools all over the world.

Our education department has long been one of the most active in the UK. We offer a hugely diverse programme of:

Schools workshops.

Public events.

University courses.

Community projects.

We also publish a range of award-winning digital materials and books and conduct rigorous academic research into the historical conditions of Shakespeare’s theatre.

More people engage with Shakespeare through our work than through that of any other organisation. And yet we receive no annual government subsidy, but rely on the generosity of individuals, corporate partners, trusts, foundations and other supporters to sustain and develop our artistic and educational work.

People with their hands up in the air
A group of children in high visibility jackets run onto a wooden stage
An actress stands on stage looking up to the sky

Use the links below to explore more of what we do.

DISCOVER

WE STILL NEED YOUR DONATIONS

After the most challenging year in our charity’s history, we still need our supporters to help us recover.

Please donate to help fund the future of Shakespeare’s Globe.

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