Fear not, the Globe is not about to go cap-in-hand to the ‘Iron Lady’. Rather, the South Bank venue is about to undertake a unique and challenging programme of restoration work on its iconic thatched roof, which is in sore need of some expert repair.

The only thatched roof to be built in London since the Great Fire of 1666, it presents a unique challenge to the team charged with conducting the work. Experienced ‘master thatchers’ Phil Campbell and Kit Davis, who both worked on the original thatching, have joined forces once more with their respective teams to undertake what the Globe describes as “essential maintenance work” on the ridge of the roof. The work, which is estimated to take four weeks and begins on 20 October 2008, will involve ten thatchers, 800 bundles of ‘sedge’ (a grass-like plant from the Norfolk Broads), 10,000 English hazel ‘spars’, 2,500 feet of ‘liggers’ (thatching strips) and, perhaps most importantly of all, 600 litres of fire retardant fluid.

The venue, which officially opened in 1997 and is modelled on the original theatre which burned down in 1613, will remain open for business whilst repairs are going on.