Shakespeare’s Globe has restarted its award-winning Guided Tour with visitors on stage for the first time, alongside an exciting digital festival filmed from the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
After closing in March, the Globe Theatre has opened its oak doors once more for guided tours. As well as hearing about Shakespeare, the history of London and the renowned theatre itself, visitors will also have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stand on one of the most famous stages in the world. Alongside costumes worn by some of the most celebrated actors to have played at the Globe, there is also an exhibition from theatre photographer Marc Brenner, showcasing previously unseen backstage images taken at the Globe during lockdown.
While the Globe has been empty of the public, the venue has undergone some urgent and necessary repairs since March. These include replacing the severely weathered panels of lime plastering – which provides the world-famous white and oak exterior of the Globe Theatre – using traditional methods and materials that would have been used in Shakespeare’s day.
Neil Constable, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s Globe said, “As an independent charity that currently receives no government subsidy, our hope is that any income raised from this festival will help support the Globe, artists and practitioners, as we all continue to look for new ways to share our work. After being closed for five months, reopening for our wonderful guided tours, giving access to the stage to our visitors for the first time, and the opening of our online shop and the Swan Bar & Restaurant are all ways in which we hope to welcome more and more people back through our doors to safely enjoy culture and experience in our iconic theatre before we are in a position to start performances again.”
The tours will run seven days a week with six tours a day until 20 September. Tickets must be pre-booked online for time slots to allow for social distancing. The tours take place outside, and safety precautions have been introduced including hand sanitising stations, deep cleaning of toilets, face shields for the Globe Guides, and further systems to ensure social distancing. The open-air theatre is following all recommended safety measures amending normal operation of the tours to fit with all COVID-19 restrictions.
The Globe’s online shop has also reopened, offering a range of gifts, books and DVD. Those who join the Globe as a Member will also receive a 20% discount in the online shop as a thank you for their support. The Swan Bar & Restaurant are also open for business with new opening times, updated menus and a COVID-19 safety policy.
For more information and to book a tour please visit the Shakespeare’s Globe website.