The London Globe Is Streaming Shakespeare Plays Online — Here's How to Watch

Literature comes to life with these plays you can rent or purchase online.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London, England
Photo: Joe Daniel Price/Getty Images

To stream or not to stream, that is the question.

Of course, if you're asking, the answer is definitely "to stream." The iconic Globe Theatre in London now makes it possible for people to enjoy the world-class William Shakespeare productions for which it's known from anywhere in the world.

For all the wannabe or faraway showgoers out there, the Globe has pre-recorded tapings of many of its past plays, including "Twelfth Night" with Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance, "The Tempest," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Hamlet," and — of course — "Romeo and Juliet." Overall, there are about 25 productions available on the theater's online streaming service, Globe Player.

The service was created amid the coronavirus pandemic, which threatened to close the Globe — and countless other playhouses around the world — permanently. A reconstruction of the original "wooden O" built by Shakespeare's own Elizabethan playing company in the 1600s, the cultural landmark would normally have no problem packing its 360-degree auditorium for oft celebrity-studded performances. With no one passing through its doors from March 2020 to May 2021, however, the Globe Player became one of the playhouse's only artistic outlets and moneymakers — gaining some 133,000 subscribers and millions of people tuning into free performances.

The shows are still available for online viewing even now that the Globe has welcomed back audiences in person. To view the iconic performances without flying all the way to the Big Smoke, you can either subscribe to the service for £59.99 ($72.98 USD), which gets you unlimited viewing, or buy a single production and keep it forever for £9.99 ($12.15). That's about as much as (or lower than) what you might pay to rent or own a new release on iTunes or Amazon Prime, and it's also far less than a live theater ticket.

Not only are these productions incredibly entertaining for any audience member, but they are also valuable educational content for students.

For more information, visit the Globe Player website.

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