Tucked away among the trees in the heart of the Villa Borghese park is one of Rome's more surreal sights. It's a full-scale reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, copied from the original designs, and almost identical to the one that now stands on London's South Bank. Rome's version of the Globe was built over the course of three months in 2003, several years after the London reconstruction was completed. It was built by the council and financed by the Silvano Toti foundation: the late Silvano Toti was a builder and patron of the arts.
The theatre is designed in a circular shape with a stage that juts out into the middle of the audience, and an open roof (which is probably better suited to Rome than it is to London). It's built of oak and has a capacity of 1250, including standing space in front of the stage. (This is the cheapest place to watch the performance although be warned that, if the productions here match those in the London Globe, you can expect the performance to move off the stage at times and the actors to mingle with the crowds...)
Most performances at the Rome Globe are translated into Italian, although there are sometimes English language productions. (Look for 'lingua originale' in the descriptions.) The season runs from June until October.
The 2016 season of performances at the Globe Theatre has now finished. To give you an idea of what might be coming in 2017, here are the performances from 2016:
- King Lear (In Italian): 23 June to 3 July.
- Intestamè (original play by Carlo Ragone and Loredana Scaramella, in Italian): 11 July.
- Homage to Shakespeare (in Italian): 8 July to 17 July.
- The Merchant of Venice (in Italian): 22 July to 7 August.
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (in Italian): 10 August to 21 August.
- The Winter's Tale (in Italian): 26 August to 11 September.
- A performance of Love Sonnets (in Italian): 29 August, then 5-9 September and 26 September.
- Romeo and Juliet (in Italian): 16 September to 2 October.
- The Tempest (in English): 5 October to 9 October.
More details about the 2016 season can be found (in Italian) on the theatre website here.
The Silvano Toti Globe Theatre puts on performances during the summer months, and more information can be found either on their website, or by calling the theatre on +39 06 06 08. Tickets are reasonably priced, from €10 (for standing places) to €28, with various discounts available.