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Take in a tour and a show at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Published: Tuesday 1st of February 2011

If you are a fan of the works of Shakespeare then the Globe Theatre is sure to be on your list of London attractions to visit during a stay in the capital.

Located on London's Bankside next to the River Thames, the reconstruction of the playwright's famous theatre is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in the arts.

The original Globe Theatre was destroyed many years ago and it wasn't until American director Sam Wanamaker visited the city in search of the building's original location that the idea of reconstructing the playhouse arose.

Building work began on the theatre in 1987, almost 20 years after Wanamaker founded what was to become the Shakespeare Globe Trust. The theatre was finally finished in 1997, when the last plasterwork and thatching was completed.

Now the Globe not only puts on regular performances but is also home to an exhibition about Shakespeare's life and works - making it an excellent London attraction to visit if you want to know more about the famous thespian.

If you add this to your list of things to do in London, you will find that it is a fully interactive experience.

Resident storytellers are on hand to guide you around the Globe, telling you tales from the original theatre, as well as providing details about Wanamaker's struggle to reconstruct the landmark.

You will be able to view various displays of instruments and costumes, as well as an exhibition dedicated to Elizabethan special effects, where you can learn what the Shakespeare Company used to create some of the more gory scenes in its productions.

Of course, the auditorium itself is bound to be a highlight of any visit to this London attraction and you will be able to appreciate the atmosphere from the stalls as you gaze on to the central stage.

As an open-air space, the theatre season officially opens in late April and this year will begin on the Easter weekend with a full reading of the Bible to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.

Other shows scheduled to take place during 2011 include Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet, as well as plays from other writers, such as Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe - one of Shakespeare's contemporaries - and the world premiere of God of Soho by Chris Hannan.

But if you are planning to spend some time visiting London attractions before the actors tread the boards, you will still find plenty going on.

The Shakespeare Globe Trust regularly runs educational events, including lectures about the playwright and his works, as well as other creative writers both past and present.

You may also find that your visit to the Globe coincides with one of its special events, in which case your trip could be made even more memorable.

A visit to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre should definitely be on your list of things to do in London - especially if you are spending time in the capital during the summer months when you could spend an afternoon browsing the various exhibitions before returning in the evening to watch one of the Bard's shows.

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