The Globe was built by Shakespeare’s acting company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, in 1599 from the timbers ofLondon’s very first permanent theater, Burbage’s Theater, built in 1576. Before James Burbage built his theater, plays and dramatic performances were ad hoc affairs, performed on street corners and in the yards of inns. However, the Common Council of London, in 1574, started licensing theatrical pieces performed in inn yards within the city limits. To escape the restriction, actor James Burbage built his own theater on land he leased outside the city limits. When Burbage’s lease ran out, the Lord Chamberlain’s men moved the timbers to a new location and created the Globe. Like other theaters of its time, the Globe was a round wooden structure with a stage at one end, and covered balconies for the gentry. The galleries could seat about 1,000 people, with room for another 2,000 “groundlings,” who could stand on the ground around the stage.
The Lord Chamberlain’s men built Blackfriars theater in 1608, a smaller theater that seated about 700 people, to use in winter when the open-air Globe wasn’t practical.
The remains must still have been smoking when the amusing ballad A Sonnett upon the pittiful burneinge of the Globe Playhouse in London was printed the next day. It consists of eight verses, each one ending with the refrain punning on the alternative title for Henry VIII, “All is true”. “Oh sorrow, pittifull sorrow, and yet all this is true”. Here are two verses: