Globe Theatre Fire

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on fire
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on fire

Historical Context

The Globe theater burnt down in 1613 during a production of William Shakespeare's Henry VIII. The fire was apparently started by a misdirected canon shot that set its thatched roof ablaze.

The successful theater was originally built in 1599 by a company of actors called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men that included Shakespeare himself and was sited south of the river Thames in the London suburb of Southwark.

The rediscovery of the theater's remains in 1989 confirmed much of its form. It's roughly circular shape had 20 sides and was three stories height with an open air pit in the center for the cheapest tickets. The theater was rebuilt after the fire and pulled down in 1644, two years after the Puritans banned all theaters.

Today the Globe theater has risen once more, largely due to the efforts of American Sam Wanamaker, who started a campaign to rebuild the theater so modern audiences could one again experience the original setting for such plays as "Hamlet", "Twelfth Night", "Othello", "King Lear" and "Macbeth".

Painting Info


Location painted: London, England, United Kingdom

Related Events

  • 1613-06-29 Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, England, burns down during a performance of "Henry VIII"
  • 1642-09-06 English Long Parliament issues Ordinance ordering closure of London theatres including the Globe theatre, once part-owned by William Shakespeare
  • 1997-06-12 Shakespeare's Globe theatre opens in London, England, replica of original Globe theatre (1599-1642) with performance O. Henry V, after campaign by Sam Wanamaker

Historical Paintings