Globe Theatre Audiences
Interesting information about
the Audiences during the life and times of William Shakespeare
and the Globe
Theatre of Elizabethan London, England
Globe Theatre Box Office
Globe Theatre Flags
Globe Theatre Food
Globe Theatre Groundlings
Globe Theatre Green Shows
What a treat the theatre was for the people
of Elizabethan London. Histories, Tragedies and Comedies written by the
greatest playwright of them all - William Shakespeare. The popularity of
the theatre reached people from all walks of life - from Royalty to the
Nobility and the Commoners. What was a day out at the Elizabethan theatre
like for the audiences? Where did they sit? How much did it cost? What did
they eat? What were the amenities like? How did illiterate members of the
public know what plays were being presented?
The London play goers loved the Globe Theatre!
It was their opportunity to see the great plays and to see each other!
Globe Audience Capacity -
the Globe theatre could hold 1500 people in the audience and this number
expanded to 3000 with the people who crowded outside the theatres
Royalty - Queen Elizabeth I
loved watching plays but these were generally performed in indoor
playhouses for her pleasure. She would not have attended the plays
performed at the amphitheatres such as the Globe
The Nobles - Upper Class
Nobles would have paid for the better seats in the Lord's rooms paying
5d for the privilege
The Lower Classes, the
Commoners, were called the Groundlings or Stinkards, and would
have stood in the theatre pit and paid 1d entrance fee. They put 1 penny
in a box at the theatre entrance - hence the term 'Box Office'
The Globe Theatre audiences
The 'groundlings' would pay 1 penny to stand in the 'Yard' of the Globe Theatre.
The gentry would pay to sit in the galleries often using cushions for
comfort! Rich nobles could watch the play from a chair set on the side
of the Globe stage itself. Theatre performances were held in the
afternoon, because, of course, there was limited artificial lighting. Men and
women attended plays, but often the prosperous women would wear a mask
to disguise their identity. The plays were extremely popular and
attracted vast audiences to the Globe - the audience capacity was
over 1500 people and this amount increased to
3000 when people mingling outside the grounds.
In 1599, Thomas Platter noted the cost of admission in his diary:
"There are separate galleries and there one stands more comfortably and
moreover can sit, but one pays more for it. Thus anyone who remains on
the level standing pays only one English penny: but if he wants to sit,
he is let in at a farther door, and there he gives another penny. If he
desires to sit on a cushion in the most comfortable place of all, where
he not only sees everything well, but can also be seen then he gives yet
another English penny at another door. And in the pauses of the comedy
food and drink are carried round amongst the people and one can thus
refresh himself at his own cost"
Globe Theatre Interior Replica
Globe Theatre Audience
Interesting Facts and information
about the Globe Theatre Audience.
Additional details, facts and information about the
Globe Theatre can be accessed via the Globe Theatre Sitemap.