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In May 1997, the new Globe Theatre -- a replica of the Elizabethan original, thatched roof and all -- staged its first slate of plays (Henry V and A Winter's Tale) yards away from the site of the 16th-century theatre where the Bard originally staged his works. Productions vary in style and setting; not all are performed in Elizabethan costume. In keeping with the historic setting, no lighting is focused just on the stage, but floodlighting is used during evening performances to replicate daylight in the theatre (Elizabethan performances took place in the afternoon). Theatregoers sit on wooden benches of yore -- in thatch-roofed galleries -- but these days you can rent a cushion to make yourself more comfortable. About 500 "groundlings" can stand in the uncovered yard around the stage, just as they did when the Bard was here.

Due to the Globe's open-air nature the schedule can be affected by weather, and so check the website beforehand.