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London - Globe Theatre Question


Petunia
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Many years ago I was in London when the Globe Theatre on the South Bank was just completed. I did a tour then but didn’t see a performance. Since that time I have often dreamt about watching a play as a “groundling”, but when I visited London in the following years it was never in the summer so there were no performances.

 

Next year I’d like to come in May/June as I hope to catch a performance of the RB’s Robbins/MacMillan mixed bill so there might be a chance to see a play at the Globe. The Globe’s website doesn’t reveal their plans for the next year, so my question is – does anyone know  when they are going to announce their schedule? And does one have to book standing tickets in advance?

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I would try emailing them and enquiring about the programme for next year as have noticed it always seems to be on the drag when announcing performances on the website. 

 

If you are lucky you might manage to get a groundling ticket on the day but to be safe I would always book in advance. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I have been to several performances at the Sam Wanamaker - and it's true, the atmosphere is absolutely wonderful.  I have mostly been to recitals and it is a perfect place for very small scale groups.  I am afraid I walked out of The Knight of the Burning Pestle because I hated the patomime style production.  As you know, the lighting is by genuine candles.  I have managed to get a ticket for L'Ormindo this time, and also for Farinelli.  I think they should be fascinating.

 

However, if you do try to go - and you will definitely have to book in advance, as the audience capacity is tiny - may I suggest that you try for the back row in the pit or the first gallery.  The seating is 'authentic' - backless benches unless you are in the rows I suggest - and is truly the most uncomfortable seating I have ever encountered.  Row D in the pit, if you take a cushion, is fine because you can lean back against the wall.  The same applies in the lower gallery, but the cushion is less essential as there is much less of a gap between the back of the seat and the wall. 

 

Sorry to spend so much more time on the auditorium than the performances, but bitter experience has now taught me what to go for and if someone had explained to me before my first booking session, it would have saved a lot of discomfort. 

 

Good luck with getting tickets.

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Thank you jm365 for your detailed advice and BerylH for the heads-up!

 

Planning a visit to London is becoming more and more difficult... :) !

I have to find out how to cram as much dance and theatre as possible into a short stay...

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  • 4 months later...

I have to push this thread up to ask some more questions.

 

I have just bought tickets for the RB triple bill on 29 May, now I can plan my visit to the Globe. There are two plays to choose from:  As You Like It on Saturday 30th May evening or The Merchant of Venice at the 31th May Sunday matinee and evening.

 

As I know and love both plays and couldn't decide anyhow, the main question is whether to go in the evening or at 1.00 pm (depending on availability of groundling tickets of course).

 

So please all you seasoned theatregoers: can you help a clueless tourist?

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I have to push this thread up to ask some more questions.

 

I have just bought tickets for the RB triple bill on 29 May, now I can plan my visit to the Globe. There are two plays to choose from:  As You Like It on Saturday 30th May evening or The Merchant of Venice at the 31th May Sunday matinee and evening.

 

As I know and love both plays and couldn't decide anyhow, the main question is whether to go in the evening or at 1.00 pm (depending on availability of groundling tickets of course).

 

So please all you seasoned theatregoers: can you help a clueless tourist?

I prefer the evening to enjoy the atmosphere as the sun goes down (no modern lighting at the Globe).  But whatever the time of day there will still be planes roaring overhead throughout the performance!

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Actually I'd be interested in knowing what an evening performance is like, quite cool I imagine even in midsummer, I always go to the 2pm start as I'm usually going on to the ballet, and because I can imagine the original Globe more in the afternoon.

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Actually I'd be interested in knowing what an evening performance is like, quite cool I imagine even in midsummer, 

 

Often, yes, like any other open air performance - and the seats are all under cover.  It can get pretty wet too sometimes for Groundlings but transparent hooded ponchos are on offer - as are collapsible paper sunhats for daytime performances. What I like about evening performances is the unusual quality of the lighting - very atmospheric.

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  • 2 months later...

I did it! I went to see the Merchant of Venice last Sunday ( evening performance) and it was such an experience! I stood in the pit the whole time (felt my back slowly giving in ;) ) Jonathan Pryce as Shylock was so great I felt thoroughly shaken at the end.

Was so glad it wasn't raining, but it was very windy. Hope I can go again sometime!

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I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I really hope you get the chance to experience it again, despite the wind and the aching back. If it helps, next time try to get in early and bag yourself a spot right up against the stage so you can lean on it - but beware being involved in the action if you do!

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Sometimes even the weather can't spoil a performance.  My sister went to see The Tempest and there was a real downpour but it amazingly co-incided with Prospero summoning up a storm so really added to the atmosphere!  I used to go a lot but in the seating areas as I couldn't stand that long.  The seats are not that comfortable but you can hire a cushion which helps a bit.

 

So glad you enjoyed your experience - I think it's something everyone should put on their bucket list if they're lucky enough to be able to get there.

 

linda

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