In 1613, during a performance of ‘Henry VIII,’ a wayward theatrical cannon shot set the original Globe Theatre’s thatched roof on fire and the structure (first designed in 1599) burned to the ground. It was painstakingly rebuilt and continued to welcome audiences until 1642, when a decree issued by the Puritan leaders who had control of Parliament closed all theaters, including the Globe. Despite what some would consider to be an unlucky start in life, a modern reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe was built in the 20th century, opening in 1997 and standing only 230 meters from the site of the original theater.
Today Shakespeare’s Globe Trust is dedicated to the experience and international understanding of Shakespeare in performance. The faithfully reconstructed Globe Theater forms the heart of an extensive exhibition about Shakespeare and the theater of his day, and the venue itself is host to a multitude of international artists performing a summer season of plays. Shakespeare’s Globe is a feat of architectural wonder and the best way to enjoy the bard in all his open air glory.