Some facts about Shakespeare’s Globe – explore Playground to discover more fact pages

The reconstruction of the Globe Theatre was not the idea of London’s mayor, or the government. It was the idea of an American actor, Sam Wanamaker.

The builders had to measure more than 1,000 oak trees to build Shakespeare’s Globe – all cut from English forests. It took about 600 oaks to build the ship the Mary Rose in 1510.

Each of the two big pillars on the stage is one oak tree. The builders had to measure lots of trees to find two just the right size.

Shakespeare’s Globe had to have special permission to have a thatched roof – there has been a law against thatched buildings in London since the Great Fire in 1666.

The first performance at the reconstructed Globe (in 1993) was in German! It was performed while the theatre was still being built.

It took 6,000 bundles of reeds from Norfolk to thatch Shakespeare’s Globe. The Norfolk reed beds only grow 4,000 a year. So that’s a year and a half’s reed supply!

All the plaster on the walls was made with a mixture including goat hair.

The bricks in the foundations that hold the theatre up are copies of an actual Tudor brick.

Shakespeare’s Globe holds 1,500 people, about half the number of the original Globe. People now are bigger and are less happy to squash up! Also, people in Shakespeare’s time did not have to obey safety regulations!

People who stand to watch the plays at Shakespeare’s Globe sometimes faint, especially in warm weather. The play with the most fainting people so far is the violent and gory Titus Andronicus – there were 15 at one performance!

An illustration of a bear holding a skull pretending to be Hamlet