You know for sure the famous Globe Theater, which hosted many of William Shakespeare’s plays on the banks of the River Thames. But do you know how it was built? Legend has it that this theater was built by Shakespeare and his crew. The 400-year-old court documents were found in the National Archives and the story of 12 people who robbed the Shortditch Theater was discovered.
The beginning of the men of the Lord Chamberlain
In 1594, William Shakespeare joined a theater company: Lord Chamberlain Men. The group of about a dozen people performed for two years at the Shortitz Theater, where they performed Shakespeare’s most famous plays. But in 1596, the owner Giles Allen refused to renew their lease. The cast, who were so attached to this scene that saw the birth of their debut, began two years of lengthy negotiations, but Giles Allen was inflexible. That’s when they came up with the idea of a plot that deserved the best possible performance.
The robbery of the theater
In the winter of 1598, while the owner of the theater was spending the holidays in his country house, the group entered the theater, armed with bombs, swords and axes and beam by beam. Legend has it that this operation lasted only one night, which historians doubt considering the size of such an institution.
So, with the remnants of the Shoridich Theater, the carpenter Peter Street, on the vacant space rented by the group on the banks of the Thames to build the Globe Theater. The stadium strangely resembles an arena and can accommodate 3,000 spectators, thus making Lord Chamberlain the new stadium for men.
For 14 years, this scene saw the play of masterpieces that marked the history of theater, such as Hamlet or Othello. Finally, the building was reduced to ashes in 1613 by a fire during the Henry VIII show. It was reconstructed as realistically as possible, but William Shakespeare did not write for the new Globe Theater. It was demolished again, this time by Puritans in 1640, to make way for new housing, before taking the form we know today in 1997. In wood, with a pitched roof, it was designed using two archive materials. Water droplets like its predecessors.
Official archives on display in Inigo Rooms to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary in 2016 testify to the veracity of this story. These documents illustrate how the Shortditch Theater was “disabled and (…) removed in a very tumultuous and defamatory manner”, causing a “great disturbance to the peace” and “frightening” the witnesses. The theft shocked the owner so much that he later refused to rebuild a theater on his land.
However, William Shakespeare’s involvement in this robbery has not yet been proven. Although it is possible that he followed the proceedings very closely, his name was not mentioned in any court documents, and he was not indicted in this case. Can I meet you in 400 years to learn more?