Snooping Around #3: Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Exams are still being pesky little things, so apologies. Here, in light of the somewhat depressing General Election news – have a nice post of me fangirling about architecture!

snooping around

Snooping Around is my somewhat erratic series where I spot cool things on my travels and share them with you.

If you’ve heard of Shakespeare (because Shakespeare) then you might have at least heard of the Globe in passing. It was the theatrical home of many of Shakespeare’s plays, and it’s still there to attend shows – although the current one is a reconstruction. Much of its rebuilding is due to an American actor and director called – you guessed it – Sam Wanamaker. (Yes! Parent of the actress who played Madam Hooch! My ability to reference fandoms in supposedly serious posts is never ending 😉 )

sam wanamaker playhouse2

The project took over 20 years and was finished in 1992, the year before he died. We don’t really know if it’s an exact representation, but it’s still an awesome place to go and see some theatre.

sam wanamaker playhouseWhilst the Globe is a bundle of fun, it isn’t actually my focus today. Instead, I wanted to talk about slightly newer building: the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. It’s been a work in progress for some time; the shell of the theatre was built during the reconstruction of the Globe and before construction for the Playhouse began was used for workshops. It’s based on Jacobean theatre drawings originally thought to be by Inigo Jones by now known to be the work of John Webb. And look! It’s. Candlelit.

Not only is this awesome because, hello, interior decoration and dramatic chandeliers, but it also means that you don’t get wet whilst going to see a production. Hopefully it’ll allow the Globe to continue their performances even through the rather unwelcoming British weather. All that groundling business is lovely, but it isn’t awfully comfortable. (Plus, it means a lot of interesting stage effects and asdfjkl awesomeness.)

Just being inside the theatre is an experience. It’s above the kind of shop/modern area of the Globe, but walking inside is absolutely insane. It’s just…ARGH. Amazing. I’ve only been to one show – that was the Passion Play, but it was with cool lady God and Singing in the Rain Noah’s Ark and the spread of Christianity as a hand clapping game, so – but I’d love to go again. I don’t know if they let you inside just to take a look (I don’t think they allowed photos), but if you’re ever in the area then I’d recommend. Maybe buy a manga Shakespeare play whilst you’re at it, because why not? 😛

Have you seen any cool buildings recently?

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2 thoughts on “Snooping Around #3: Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    • It does put a new spin on things – and it makes revision a lot more fun! 😛 (School really has ruined Shakespeare a bit for me.) I’m glad to have taught you something new!

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