- Oh, Mark--- I'm good.
Hello,my name's Mark Gagliardi,
and todaywe're gonna talk about
William Shakespeare andthe Great Theater Heist of 1598.
- [laughs]Oh, [bleep].
- All right, let me setthe stage for you:
it's the late 16th century, in a neighborhood just north
of London called Shoreditch where the most brilliant minds
of the time have started gathering at the taverns.
You've got Sir Walter Raleigh, and Christopher Marlowe,
who's like the biggest playwright in the world.
And it was there that a guy named James Burbage makes
this land deal with Giles Allen
and decides to build his own theater.
It is called The Theatre,
with an "re" not an "er."
You do it with an "re" 'cause it's classier.
- So William Shakespeare shows up.
I'm William Shakespeare.
I'm the new guy, um...
So, in re--in, uh,so then he spends
he late 1580s, uh, writing...
- [laughs] - And starring in some of his
early works, but in 1594, the theater scene
was viciously crippled by a bubonic plague outbreak.
So James Burbage, founder of The Theatre has decided,
here's what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna get together
a troupe of actors made of all of the actors whose troupes
had disbanded during the bubonic plague
and create a super group
of Elizabethan actors called
The Lord Chamberlain's Men.
- Would you like water?
I'll take that as a no.
Okay... point taken.
- So Shakespeare's foundhis home
and his home is The Theatre. And at this time,
Shakespeare is prolific.
He's writing some of his best plays.
He's churning out-- he's like, oh, hey, here,
try this one out.
This one's called "Hamlet."
Here, try this one out. I call this one "Othello."
You're probably gonna need some shoe polish to play Othello,
but nobody's socially conscious enough that blackface isn't
a bad thing at this point. So Shakespeare has these guys
doing these amazing plays until 1597.
Giles Allen says, oh, you wanna renew the lease?
Hang on a second. I've decided these plays
are bull[bleep]. I hate The Theatre.
And James Burbage is like, wait, what?
So Giles Allen--Guyles Allen?Giles Allen? Giles Allen says,
I'm a Puritan, so I think that plays are dumb even though
you're doing Shakespeare, and your plays are gonna be read
by [bleep] school kids in 2015, because they're that
G.D. important, theater is like, you know,
of the devil, so sorry.
And James Burbage was so distraught by this
that he died of a broken heart.
And Giles Allen said, James Burbage is dead, this is
my land, I'm gonna do what I want with it.
But one of The Lord Chamberlain's Men went,
hey, fellas, hang on a second.
I've been looking at the lease, the, like, actual piece
of paper that our lease is written on,
and that lease says Giles Allen owns the land,
but... technically speaking...
we own the building.
What are we going to do about this?
- [groans]I was trying to be good
this episode and notwind up on the floor.
- Here you go.- Mm-hmm, thank you.
So on the night of December 28, 1598,
it happened that Puritan landowner Giles Allen
was out of town for the Christmas holiday.
The Lord Chamberlain's Men decided to take matters
into their own hands.
William Shakespeare and the members
of The Lord Chamberlain's Men
are like, you know what?
This building belongs to us, and we're going to take it.
They went into the costume storage rooms, they put on
their most terrifying military battle gear,
and they proceeded to take down
the entire building,
including the 30-foot beams that held the building aloft.
Brick by brick, every last piece.
- I got you.- What are we talking about?
- Um, Alexander Hamilton.- How dare you.
So, uh, when Giles Allen came back, he realized that,
oh, my God, the land that I own, uh, this land
used to have a theater on it, and no longer does.
What the eff happened?
- I'm gonna tryto bring you back up.
- So Shakespeareand The Lord Admir--
Lord Chamberlain's Men,
they took down a whole building,
and they took all of those pieces across the Thames,
and board by board they rebuilt this theater,
rechristened it The Globe, and this is where Shakespeare
premiered his greatest works.
And hey, did you learn "Hamlet" in high school?
It's 'cause Shakespeare and his buddies stole a theater.
- Mark, you're the [bleep] best.
I wish you had a drink.I'd cheers you.
- I got one right here.- What was that?
- No, where'd it go?- I dunno.
- I had one.- You did?
Where'd you put it?- I don't [bleep] know,
but I'm gonna do this with ya.
- Here's your drink.
- Was this mine?- Yeah.
- I love you.- [laughs]
You're the [bleep] king.