1 9 6 0 (UK)
6 x 30 minute episodes
First broadcast on 5 January 1960 at 5.25 pm, this six-part children’s TV series with an educational theme was written by schoolteacher Joy Thwaytes.
The idea was to take its young audience to Elizabethan London and inside the Globe Theatre without making a documentary.
“Shakespeare needn’t be a bore,” Thwaytes was quoted as saying in a TV Times article, “but it depends on how you treat him. I decided the best way was to let viewers see the Globe through the eyes of a boy who gets there by accident.”
The little ship of the title is a model made by Giles Kendall (Jimmy Ray) of his father’s ship, the Phoenix.
A shy country boy of 14, Giles is searching Southwark for his father or news of his ship when he meets Dr Pietro (Peter Collingwood), a self-proclaimed alchemist.
Hoping to buy the model, the wily Pietro pretends he can find Giles’ father. Outside in the street, there is a sudden scuffle and Giles rushes out in time to help Sam Gilburne (Colin Wall), a 15-year old boy who has been set upon by two young ruffians – and that is the start of Giles’ adventures.
Sam, a boy actor, takes a liking to Giles and shows him around the Globe Theatre. There Giles finds both friends and enemies such as Richard Burbage (Nicholas Brady), and, of course, Shakespeare himself.