International Shakespeare Globe Centre (UK)

The Globe, or better put 'the International Shakespeare Globe Centre (ISGC)' is more than a construction of a theatre, the way it might have appeared in Shakespearian times. It has a continuing experimental role in both acting and today's society.

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Although the building stands as it is, it is not a rigid construction as it might seem. It has triggered such a huge discussion and so much research efforts, that continuously new details are coming to light which will mean alterations in the concept. This would never have happened if the building would not have been constructed. It involves a changing rather than a completed process. There is hope, that using the theatre for the original plays, will give more insight into the ways the plays were originally performed and enrich the actors and the acting profession.

The ISGC is different from most constructions mentioned in this book. To start with, the basis is formed by documentary information; archaeological information came first to light during the construction. Thirdly, the physical construction is no end in itself, just one of the aims. The project was an attempt to learn about theatre and performance. In the process of the actual building, the historians had to step aside to make place for architects.

The ISGC is about the tenth full scale construction of a modern Shakespearian theatre in the world, but in its class, it is the most serious attempt. The polygonal theatre was for sure not the only shape of theatres in Elizabethan England. But because no others are 'reconstructed' ignorant visitors may think otherwise.

The ISGC is instigated by Sam Wanamaker, an actor and producer. He died before the ISGC was ready. The whole process of come to a real theatre took about thirty years.

During the reconstruction work on paper, a polygonal theatre, 'the Rose' was excavated. The excavation got a lot of public attention, but unfortunately, the remains could not be preserved. This aroused a lot of anger and had a major impact on heritage laws in England. Awareness was raised. The physical evidence of 'the Rose' excavation and a trial excavation of the original Globe was not always helpful for the drawing table work. The historians, architects, archaeologists all suffered from both sides' ignorance of the other's discipline. A 'best guess' was involved all the way in the construction process. All the models were also commented upon by actors. The new Globe is fascinating, but not authentic. But that never was the meaning.


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