In June 1614, the Globe theatre -- which had burned down on 29 June 1613 -- was finally rebuilt.
It must have been a very busy and difficult year indeed for Richard Burbage, Henry Condell, the other shareholders in the company, and the actors. They needed to get back to business, and every day they didn't have a theatre was another day without income.
So, perhaps at the beginning, or at the end of a play, Shakespeare would walk on stage to a crowd that must have clapped their hands, stomped their feet, and cried his name so loudly that the whole theatre was shaking.
So, was it something funny and whimsical like A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Was it something funny and bloody like Richard III? Was it Henry V, the first play that was performed in the old Globe in 1599?
|Sir Ian McKellen as Prospero, in 1999|
But the more I think about it, he would have wanted to sit in the Lords’ Rooms, above and behind the stage, where he could hear the dialogue better.
If Shakespeare was there, then I would imagine that every last seat in the galleries was taken, and the yard was completely packed.
So, it may very well be that Shakespeare's last sight of a stage and an audience, and the last time he saw many of his dearest friends, was in June 1614.
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