Luckily, James and his brother discovered a provision in their lease, therefore being allowed to take apart the Original theatre. The Barrage brothers had to carry The Theatre in large pieces by boat across the Thames River to the opposite shore. The people of London were anticipating the opening of the new theatre. As a result of these actions, the Globe Theatre was finally opened in 1599. To announce the opening, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men flew a flag showing a picture of Hercules holding a globe on his shoulders. Their first play was William Shakespearean Julius Caesar.
It was over 40 feet tall and 100 feet in ammeter, standing five feet off the ground. Some people referred to it as a ‘wooded O’. The capacity of the Globe Theatre was large enough to hold 3,000 people at its maximum! Although, there was only one entrance and only two fights of stairs. Fortunately, the theatre had three levels. The first level was for the poorest, who were also called “groundings. ” The second and third level was for the wealthier class. In addition, the Globe’s shape was circular with approximately 20 sides, giving it a circumference of 300 feet.
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With all these viewers coming into the Globe every day, the company made hat seemed like a lot back then. The “Box Office” was where people had to pay to get into the theatre. Each person had to pay at least one penny, whether they were poor or filthy rich. However, the best seat, which was at the third level, was three pennies total. The environment for the Globe Theatre would have been torture for our generation. There was no air conditioning! Neither was much artificial lighting. Therefore, the performances were shown during afternoon hours. The only lighting that was used was natural light, which went through the open-concept roof.
That isn’t the only negative thing about the Globe Theatre. The actors were not treated like most actors are today. They were expected to perform their own stunts, and it had to be convincing enough for viewers to stay entertained. Even more, all of the actors were men, meaning if one had to play a female role, he had to wear makeup and dress like a female. This may seem only embarrassing, but it was also deadly. Due to the fact that makeup in the 1 ass’s was composed of mostly lead, and that an actor needed an abundance of it to have the facial appearance of a female, he would die from lead poisoning!
What a way to live as an actor back then! Sadly, the Globe Theatre lasted for only about arrears. The actors used a small cannon for special effects during their performances, each cannon fire was close to the surrounding thatched roof, which was highly flammable. One day in June of 161 3, during the company’s performance of Henry VIII, the cannon fired too close to the thatched roof, sending the theatre ablaze. The wood made it worse, since wood is also very attractive to fire. By the time the fire was put out, the Globe Theatre was condemned. There were no death toll records or casualty numbers of the devastation.