Oh hey, so I went on a backstage tour of Shakespeare’s Globe...
…and I totally forgot to upload the photos til now.
Let’s start in the ‘heavens’ right up top, where the cast pour libations for Dionysus before each run:
There’s also a bell made by the same company that made the original Globe’s bell, and a trap that goes right down to the stage. Someone fell down there during the opening season and broke their leg, and there followed a spate of leg/foot-related injuries until Mark Rylance called in a shaman, made a little paper replica of the Globe (complete with teeny paper players) and performed a secret ceremony before hiding the whole thing in the rafters. It’s still there, apparently, but no one knows where it is.
(Spot the gold confetti leftover from Charles Edward’s Richard II… It’s EVERYWHERE.)
View from the musician’s balcony. In the original theatre, wealthy playgoers could sit up here to show off their outfits to the audience. Ditto in the pretty painted boxes to the immediate left and right of the balcony:
Next: backstage. Are you ready?
(There are grease-stains above those little square windows because actors lean their foreheads against them to peek out at the stage, listening for their cue…)
View from the stage. Imagine the yard filled with groundlings…
The fucking detail…
I wanted to stroke the walls. And hump a pillar. And lie on the stage and cry. But I restrained myself. I am a professional.
Then we went down into ‘hell’, under the stage, where no one has swept since forever and there is still SO MUCH RICHARD II GLITTER.
(The tour guide told a great story about logistics of rigging up plastic drainpipes that stretched to each of the four corners of the stage so that Hamlet’s ghost could be lowered down into the trap and deliver his “SWEAR!” lines from different locations without having to scurry about under the stage. It is TIGHT under there.)
Finally: props department. I tried to hide behind a stack of shoes so that I’d get left behind and could live out my days as a little Globe hermit but they found me.
We got to feel up some of the costumes though - all made by hand with authentic materials and techniques of Shakespeare’s time - aaand none of them can be washed (vodka and febreeze ftw). Each principle actor gets a handmade, tailored outfit of their very own to the cost of about £3,000 each. Rylance’s Prospero robes cost EIGHTEEN FUCKING GRAND.
Oh look, fancy gloves:
I fucking love the Globe.