The Globe was one of 15 lottery-funded arts organizations, including the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre and Sadler's Wells Theatre evaluated in June 2002 on post-completion performance. Performance was measured in terms of artistic and educational outputs and activities, financial viability and the fitness for purpose of buildings constructed. Shakespeare's Globe emerged as one of the most successful projects artistically and a leading light in education while also remaining financially stable. The independent evaluator noted: "This is all the more remarkable because [the Globe] receives no public subsidy." Shakespeare's Globe received the lottery money in two parts; funding for the theatre in June 1997 and for the creation of the Exhibition in February 2000. The Exhibition is now visited by some 300,000 people a year. Under the artistic direction of Mark Rylance, the theatre has received critical acclaim for its programs of both original and newly commissioned work. Audience attendance has been significantly higher than originally projected with an average capacity of 87% in the 2002 season.
The theatre was also praised for its "groundling" tickets, an initiative that enables 115,000 theatregoers a year to see a play for just £5 — though, they do have to stand! Groundlings are one of the most authentic and enjoyable aspects of the Globe's re-creation of an Elizabethan theatre — and Elizabethan theatre practices — though when it rains the sound of the rain on their plastic macs can provide a very twenty-first century sound effect!
Peter Kyle, General Director of Shakespeare's Globe, commented today: "We are delighted; this report recognizes the hard work, dedication and vision that have made Shakespeare's Globe such a remarkable success."