Monday, 15 February 2010

O! For a Muse of fire....

Booking for Henry VIII has opened today at the Globe, as, of course has every other performance in the 'Kings and Rogues' 2010 season. Yet it is this play, one of Shakespeare's lesser known histories, that holds special significance for this most spectacular of theatres. On June 29th 1613, a cannon, fired for means of a special effects during a performance of Henry VIII, set the theatre's thatched roof alight, and caused the entire building to be razed to the ground ‘all in less than two hours, the people having enough to do to save themselves’. The structure was rebuilt a year later with a tiled roof, yet it seemed to have lost its magic, and it was demolished in 1644 for housing. Now, 397 years after the original incident, with thatch reinstated and sprinklers installed, the play will once again take to the stage; hopefully the fireworks will only be in the performance.

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