- Title: UNITED KINGDOM: THE WRAPS ARE TAKEN OFF THE RECREATION OF SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE
- Date: 8th August 1995
- Summary: (FILE) (MONCHROME) (MUTE) ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE ORIGINAL GLOBE THEATRE/ DRAWING BY WENCESLAUS HOLLAR ANOTHER DRAWING OF THE GLOBE THEATRE DRAWING OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE/ IMAGE FOR FIRST FOLIO
- Reuters ID: LVAETSFYTTYVHFPXFW3PDOZJLECW
- Location: LONDON AND STRATFORD-ON-AVON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Duration: 00:00:12
- Topics: Entertainment
- Story Text: One man's dream is about to become reality in London, with the unveiling of a recreation of Shakespeare's famous Globe theatre.
Sited on the banks of the River Thames, the Globe opened in 1599. Here many of the Bard's works, including "King Lear," "Hamlet" and "Macbeth" first took the the stage.
Visiting the site in 1949, U.S. actor-director Sam Wanamaker was horrified to find it marked only with a commemorative plaque.
The theatre itself was levelled in 1644 by Oliver Cromwell's republicans, who disapproved of the arts.
Then began Wanamaker's twenty-five year campaign to raise the 37.7 million U.S. dollars needed to recreate the theatre. Its construction, begun in 1990, has taken rather longer than the original, and Wanamaker died before seeing his vision completed.
The 20-sided, open-roofed polygon was constructed using traditional techniques where possible, while still meeting modern building regulations.
The heavy timber roof beams, hewn from English Oak, are secured with wooden pegs, the walls made from lime plaster and the bricks modelled on the 1600's originals.
The thatched roof, the first allowed in London for centuries, had to be protected with fire retardant chemicals and sprinkler systems. The Globe has caught fire once before, in 1613, when a spark from a cannon used as a prop in "Henry VIII" set the roof alight. The flames were doused with beer and the roof tiled over.
The open air theatre-in-the-round will force many actors to modify their technique in order to communicate effectively with the audience.
Prunella Scales, a trained Shakespearian actress known worldwide for her role in the cult TV comedy "Fawlty Towers" described the stage as "demanding." She said it was ironic that the vision for such a building came from an American, not a Londoner.
On Wednesday (August 9), an audience filled the auditorium for the first time since 1642, for the opening of a month-long Shakespeare workshop season. The new Globe accomodates around half the 3000 people that would have packed into the original three-tier structure.
While some of the audience are seated on wooden benches, others must stand in the open in front of the stage. As a result, performances are expected to be shorter. They will also be restricted to summer months to avoid London's wintry weather.
A temporary stage is being used for the workshop performances.
The theatre won't officially open until June, 1996 when the stage is finished.
The Globe is bound to become a tourist magnet to equal Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-on-Avon. The Royal Shakespeare Company's performances draw thousands of vistors there each year.
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