Globe Theatre Plays
The Globe Theatre Plays brought massive audiences to the theatre. As soon as a play had been written it was immediately produced - printing followed productions. The Globe actors initially used 'foul papers' or prompts for their plays. There were no copyright laws in Elizabethan England so rival theatre companies would send their members to attend plays to produce unauthorised copies of plays - notes were made and copied as quickly as possible - quarto texts. This type of plagiarism led to different versions of some of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare.
Times of Plays at the Globe Theatre
The times of plays at the Globe Theatre generally started at three o'clock. Red, White or Black flags flying form the Flag mast at the top of the Globe Theatre indicated whether the play to be performed was a history, comedy or a tragedy. Prior to the start of a play the crowds were entertained in the grounds outside the theatre at no cost. A short play which included song and dance were performed at the 'Green Shows'. The start of the afternoon plays were announced by a blast of trumpets.
Famous Plays performed at the Globe Theatre
Plays performed at the Globe Theatre were divided into three types - Histories, Comedies and Tragedies. The First Folio was a collection of 36 plays by William Shakespeare. The First Folio was published in 1623 - 7 years after the death of William Shakespeare. None of his plays were published during his lifetime. The financial requirement to produce as many plays as possible, as quickly as possible, would lead us to believe that all of the plays written by William Shakespeare would have been performed at the Globe Theatre. However, written documentation verifying the dates when famous plays were performed at the Globe Theatre are limited. The following list details the names of known plays performed at the Globe with the date they were performed:
- Julius Caesar was the first known William Shakespeare play to be performed at the Globe Theatre. A tourist called Thomas Platter recorded in his diary that on 21 September " we witnessed an excellent performance of the tragedy of the first Emperor Julius Caesar " said to be performed by some 15 actors
- Hamlet was performed 1600-1601
- Twelfth Night 1601
- Richard II - 7 February 1601
- Troilus and Cressida 1601-1602
- Allís Well That Ends Well 1602
- Timon of Athens 1604
- King Lear 1605
- Macbeth 1606
- Pericles, Prince of Tyre 1607
- The Tempest 1610
- The Two Noble Kinsmen 1611
- Henry VIII in 1613
The lost play by William Shakespeare called Cardenio was believed to have been performed in 1612. Click the following links to access the full list of William Shakespeare plays, divided into Histories, Comedies and Tragedies, together with the dates they were first performed and the date the plays were printed.