Category: Shakespeare’s Globe

Sam Wanamaker Festival on the Globe stage. This March we were…


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio


Sam Wanamaker Festival photography by Cesare De Giglio

Sam Wanamaker Festival on the Globe stage. 

This March we were once again blown away by the talent of students from the UK’s leading drama schools and Rutgers Conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe who presented scenes by Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the Globe Theatre at the Sam Wanamaker Festival.

Photography by Cesare De Giglio 

Shakespeare’s Globe produces new plays? Jessica Lusk is our…

Shakespeare’s Globe produces new plays?

Jessica Lusk is our Literary Manager. She is responsible for the research and development of all our new writing. Lucky her! If you came to see Emilia in 2018 you can thank Jessica in part for that.

In this blog she explains why and how we commission new plays at Shakespeare’s Globe. If you’re a budding playwright this is essential reading. 


The Globe has always been a new
writing venue. It’s hard to believe now but Shakespeare was a new writer once,
and The Globe I write from now, (the third Globe) is still a new writing venue
today.

Our first brand new play was seen by
enthusiastic audiences back in 2002, it was called The Golden Ass by
Peter Oswald – an adaptation of a Roman Classic – with a cast of 30 actors
playing almost 200 different characters, with puppetry, opera and
mini-scooters… it was certainly not a case of starting small!

Since then we have produced almost 40
new plays, for both the Globe and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, including
Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn, Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn,
Che Walker’s The Frontline, Claire van Kampen’s Farinelli and
the King,
 Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s Emilia and most recently Tom Stuart’s After Edward.
They’ve played here, in the West End and on Broadway, as well as on tour around
the UK.

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Now, as we enter our 22nd
year, the process of commissioning and developing new work is getting a
shake-up. Shakespeare wrote his plays specifically for the Lord Chamberlain’s
Men and for the playhouses they performed in, and once they had passed the
censor then it was left to the audience to decide their worth.

We want to take this as our guide: to work
with writers and produce exciting new plays written bespoke to the architecture
they will be performed in. We will give writers the space and time to work with
our academics and research team, spend time with our actors, see plays in
our theatres, experiment with and learn from the architectural playing
conditions of our two theatres, the practitioners who work in them, and ultimately
write a play bespoke to those theatres.

We’re calling this idea ‘The
Scriptorium’, hearkening back to the

medieval

idea of a space devoted to
writing, but more on that another time…!

Our cause is to celebrate and interrogate Shakespeare’s transformative
impact on the world – and where can that impact be more felt than in the writers of
today…. Artistic descendants of this extraordinary shaman.

Our aim is to programme and produce new work
within a season of Shakespeare’s plays that support and complement each other.
For example, we programmed Emilia
in a season of Shakespeare’s plays in which the character of Emilia threads her
way through several stories – Othello, The Winter’s Tale and The Two Noble
Kinsmen
. These plays provided an opportunity and framework to reflect on
the myriad influences this ‘Dark Lady’ may have had on Shakespeare’s imagination,
but crucially in Emilia,
Morgan Lloyd Malcolm placed this revolutionary poet right where she is meant to
be – at the centre of her own story.

At the beginning of 2019 we hosted our first ever
new writing festival: responses to our winter production of Marlowe’s Doctor
Faustus
. The central Faustian bargain has traditionally been associated
with the male ‘soul’, and so, we commissioned six female writers to give a
feminine response to the central provocation at the heart of Doctor Faustus
that asks ‘what would you sell your soul for?’ The responses were surprising, revealing, funny and truly moving, and the reaction from the
audiences were similar. To have an opportunity to see how  classic
plays sit in conversation with brand new ones is so exciting, and this festival
of writing is something we want to do again and again, bigger and even better.

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During the festival we experimented with different performance spaces and found that there’s so much
more to play with than just a traditional stage. The Globe’s ‘Tiring House’
(where you would put on your ‘attire’ before a performance) makes a beautifully
intimate and immediate playing space that created a ‘pop-up’ element to our
first new writing festival. So, watch this space, and lots of other spaces
around the building. 

If you’re a writer, here are a few
things to bear in mind:

One of the exciting things that
writers find here is that the Globe theatre demands writing that is truly active, epic
and democratic. The audience can be your biggest supporter or your
harshest critic: roughly half of a Globe audience is standing, and they’ve only paid five pounds, so if they don’t like something, they can – and do –
leave!

The Globe invites live and direct
communication with its audience. It also responds brilliantly to declarations
of huge shifts in space and time – think of Antony and Cleopatra where we move
between Egypt and Rome again and again so swiftly, with nothing more than a
different set of characters coming on to tell us that we have changed continent.

And as
imagination bodies forth
The forms
of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them
to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local
habitation and a name.

–  A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The
space is the concept. The
dramaturgy and structure of the play can be inspired by the necessity and
parameters of the stage as much as the narrative that drives it forward. There
are no sets, no amplified sound, no black outs – it’s a space that is completely shared
with play, player and audience. And above us all is the sky. It’s a vertical as
well as horizontal space. It’s mythic and domestic. It’s a tabula rasa that allows
for an experiment in form as much as content, and that is a challenge our writers
say they love to rise to.

Although Shakespeare himself has
popped up in one or two of our new plays over the years, he’s not in himself
the most interesting subject matter. Shakespeare wrote about Kings and
Queens, faeries and myths, fools and twins, but what he really wrote about
was the human condition. We want to find our new Shakespeares. Writers
with big ideas that speak to a contemporary audience. 

How
to develop a play for Shakespeare’s Globe

We don’t accept unsolicited scripts,
mainly because we’re not looking for finished, polished plays. Instead we
want to support writers as you develop your plays bespoke to our
playhouses.

If you’re a writer with an idea for the Globe please don’t spend
your precious free time writing something without being paid for
it! 

Instead send us the pitch, invite us to your shows, or rehearsed readings,
or send us scripts you’ve written in the past, but please do not send us your new plays written for the Globe
. Our space is full of ‘airy
nothing’ that invites you to speak to it and to fill it with your imagination;
all we need is you, your poet’s pen and your big idea.

If you would like to invite us to see your work performed please email us on literary@shakespearesglobe.com. The subject line should read: Invitation/Pitch (New Writing).

Building photography by Clive Sherlock 
Emilia and Dark Night of the Soul photography by Helen Murray 

Join us for our Globe Celebration.Ever wondered what it’s like…

Join us for our Globe Celebration.

Ever wondered what it’s like to be an actor at the Globe? Find out at our upcoming event, that opens our year of celebrations to mark 100 years since the birth of our founder, Sam Wanamaker.

Our Burbage and Wanamaker: A Globe Celebration event lifts the lid on our theatre practices, and gives audience members the rare chance to work with our Artistic Associates and discover what it’s like to be an actor at the Globe.

2019 will also be 400 years since the death of the famous Globe actor, Richard Burbage. Join us as we celebrate these two visionary men who built Globe Theatres and explore the history of our unique spaces with the experts.

Find out more about the day.


Meet the experts who will be running our workshops and seminars:

Tess Dignan, our Head of Voice, opens the day with a warm up on the Globe stage. Tess trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and is currently leading voice work with our 2019 ensemble.

Dr Diana Devlin publishes her biography of Sam Wanamaker this year. She is Deputy Chair of Shakespeare’s Globe Council and leads a session on the ‘Globe Theatre: Past and Present’, exploring Sam’s visionary role in bringing Shakespeare’s Globe to life.  

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Glynn MacDonald has been our legendary resident director of movement since 1997. Trained in the Alexander Technique in 1972, she has taught movement in countries all across the world. Her movement session will explore how actors prepare physically for acting on the Globe stage.  

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Giles Block has led text work at the Globe since 1999 and has worked on over 100 Globe productions. He is the author of Speaking the Speech – An Actor’s Guide to Shakespeare. His text session illuminates the groundwork actors do when approaching Shakespeare’s plays.

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Dr Will Tosh delivers both ‘The Globe Theatre Past and Present’ and theRichard Burbage: Life and Legacy’ sessions. Will is a Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Globe and author of Playing Indoors: Staging Early Modern Drama in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

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Professor Lucy Munro leads the ‘Richard Burbage: Life and Legacy’ session with Dr Will Tosh. She lectures in English Literature at Kings College London and is a member of the Architecture Research Group at Shakespeare’s Globe and the steering group of the London Renaissance Seminar.

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The ‘Richard Burbage: Life and Legacy’ session will also feature the talents of actors Ekow Quartey and Aruhan Galieva.

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Federay Holmes is an Associate Artist at Shakespeare’s Globe. She is directing the 2019 ensemble in Henry IV part 1, Henry IV part 2 and Henry V. She forms part of the panel of Globe associates for the Q&A sessions at the end of the day which will provide an insight into current Globe Theatre practice.

Join us for our Globe Celebration on Saturday 9 March.

History, part 1: Richard II.Research Assistant Hailey Bachrach…

History, part 1: Richard II.

Research Assistant Hailey Bachrach will be blogging about History. This week she shines a light on Richard II


It’s a common question
when faced with a history play, by Shakespeare or Marlowe or anyone else: what
do I need to know to before I see it? What background do I need to make it make
sense?  

The assumption seems
to be that these plays are impenetrable without a solid background in English
monarchical history—that the original audiences must have had this knowledge.
And it’s true that some Renaissance audience members may have come armed with
information gleaned from the chronicle histories of Rafael Holinshed or Edward
Hall, who compiled massive, sprawling narratives of England’s past, and which
writers like Shakespeare and Marlowe drew upon when writing their plays.

But many others
wouldn’t have. Such books were extremely expensive, and that’s assuming you
knew how to read. But that doesn’t mean that only the wealthy and literate knew
anything about the past. Just like many of us today will get a vague sense of
periods we’ve never studied from films or books, in Shakespeare’s time, plays
and ballads served to fill in many people’s understanding of England’s
history.  

So if you were an
ordinary English person who’d never read a chronicle history, what might you have
already known going in to see Shakespeare’s Richard
II
for the first time?  

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If you were a theatre
fan, you might have been familiar with the story of King Richard II from the
play now generally called Thomas of
Woodstock.
It now only survives in an incomplete manuscript, but may
predate Shakespeare’s play—and fittingly, depicts events that take place slightly
earlier in Richard’s reign.

In this play, you
would have seen Richard’s neglect of his new bride, Anne of Bohemia, and his
sorrow at her sudden death. You would have met his favourites, Green, Bushy,
Bagot, and Scroop, all elevated to important political positions that they then
abuse for personal gain, unconcerned that they are impoverishing the citizens
of England in the process. Ghosts appeared to remind you of Richard’s regal lineage:
his father, the war hero called the Black Prince and his grandfather, King
Edward III. And you would have met Richard’s uncles, John of Gaunt; Edmund of
Langley, the Duke of York; and the titular Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of
Gloucester, the humblest and gentlest of them all, who Richard’s favourites
persuade him to have murdered. Richard is quickly seized by remorse… but not
quickly enough to save Woodstock’s life.

But sometimes
connections were less direct. Marlowe’s Edward
II
and Shakespeare’s Richard II were
likely written around the same time, and they are plainly plays in close
conversation with one another. Aside from their central scenarios of
irresponsible kings surrounded by favourites, even lines and images seem to
echo from one play to the other. Edward
II
was written before Richard II, and
these echoes may have sounded for original audience members, shaping their
expectations of Richard based on what
they’d seen in Edward.

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Thomas of Woodstock isn’t a direct prequel to Richard II, and of course neither is Edward II (though Edward was Richard’s great-grandfather). All three plays offer their own
interpretations of their parallel characters or scenarios. But the plays’
similarities and vague familiarities are what many original audience members
would have brought with them into a new history play—not a list of facts about the
reign of King Richard II. In a time before national history was taught in
school, and before the majority of the population was literate, plays were as
good a source as any for learning about the past… or at least a version of it.

Writers played fast
and loose with historical fact—and often the chronicles themselves were
contradictory or incorrect—and the facts (or ‘facts’) that an audience member
had learned from one source may have been flatly contradicted by another. Even
if you came into a history play with some knowledge of its subject, that
knowledge might turn out not to apply.  

This pick-and-mix
approach to history was all that most audience members would have brought along
with them into a new play. The upcoming season offers the exciting opportunity
for us to have a similar viewing experience, accumulating knowledge from play
to play, and letting playwrights teach us their own version of history.

Richard II opens in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on 22 February.

Edward II appears at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until 20 April. 

Edward II production photography by Marc Brenner 
Richard II rehearsal photography by Ingrid Pollard 

The Globe Ensemble.We’d like to introduce the new resident Globe…


Sarah Amankwah, Philip Arditti, Nina Bowers


Jonathan Broadbent


Leaphia Darko


Steffan Donnelly


John Leader


Sophie Russell


Oliver Ryan


Helen Schlesinger


Michelle Terry

The Globe Ensemble.

We’d like to introduce the new resident Globe Ensemble.

Echoing the approach that Shakespeare’s company would have taken over 400 years ago the Globe Ensemble will work together over the following year to explore our working and performance practices.

Sean Holmes, Associate Artistic Director will bring his years of experience working with ensembles, such as Filter and the ground-breaking Secret Theatre project, to inform and inspire our ensemble experiment.

The Globe Ensemble will include:

Tayo Akinbode – Composer
Sarah Amankwah – Player
Philip Arditti – Player
Sarah Bedi – Director
Nina Bowers – Player 
Jonathan Broadbent – Player 
Leaphia Darko – Player 
Steffan Donnelly – Player 
Federay Holmes – Director 
John Leader – Player 
Sophie Russell – Player 
Oliver Ryan – Player  
Helen Schlesinger – Player 
Michelle Terry – Player 
Rob Walker – Stage Manager 
Siân Williams – Choreographer 
Jessica Worrall –  Designer 

Over the course of this year, the Globe Ensemble will be exploring the present and future of our ‘sceptred isle’ through the prism of Shakespeare’s history plays. Discover more about the 2019 Globe summer season.

#Globe2019

The Globe summer season 2019. Though it may be a little dreary…

The Globe summer season 2019. 

Though it may be a little dreary outside we are already thinking about the summer and we are pleased to be able to share our 2019 summer season with you. In Michelle Terry’s second season as Artistic Director, we will be celebrating and interrogating our ‘sceptred isle’. The journey begins in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse with Richard II, opening on 22 February.

Our newly formed Globe Ensemble will open the summer season in the outdoor Globe Theatre with Henry IV Part 1, 2 and Henry V.

In Henry IV Part 1 or Hotspur, opening on 23 April, Hotspur prepares to lead an army against the King while Hal, played by Sarah Amankwah, idles time away in the pub with Falstaff.

In Henry IV Part 2 or Falstaff we see a nation at war with itself – a battleground of old friendships and new duties. At the centre stands Falstaff a tired war-hero longing for the taverns of Eastcheap, played by Helen Schlesinger.

Rounding off the history plays trilogy, Henry V or Harry England leads England into war with France in a play that raises timely questions about national identity, leadership and power.

Book for our early bird Trilogy Day offers to follow Henry’s complete journey.

From the heaviness of war, we see Falstaff trying to woo The Merry Wives of Windsor, but Mistresses Page and Ford have different plans. Directed by Nicole Charles who directed Emilia with co-direction from Elle While. Merry Wives will be live-broadcast to cinemas on 20 June.

Blanche McIntyre, director of 2018’s The Winter’s Tale will lead us to Bartholomew Fair in Ben Jonson’s raucous comedy.

Treat yourself to a double dose of comedy and see the same cast and director take on two different plays with our special Early Bird Multi-buy offer for The Merry Wives of Windsor and Bartholomew Fair.

Associate Artistic Director Sean Holmes directs Shakespeare’s shimmering summertime tale,  A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

2018’s As You Like It returns with a new cast running amok in the Forest of Eden. Be further transported to the forest with books running in the brooks at the Midnight Matinee on 6 September.

Brendan O’Hea returns to direct Globe on Tour where a company of eight actors will share Shakespeare with audiences around the world with a trio of plays exploring themes of refuge and displacement. Once again the audience will be able to choose whether they see The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night or Pericles through Audience Choice. These three plays will all be performed at Refugee Week that returns to the Globe this year.

In light of movements including #MeToo #TimesUp #SayHerName in May we highlight the work and voices of women from all backgrounds in our Women & Power festival looking at the roles theatre, music and poetry play in social change.

Celebrating the country’s particular affinity and fascination with Shakespeare’s plays, our two-week festival Poland is Hamlet will combine theatre, film, illustration and song, delving into the cultural exchanges between Poland and England which date back to medieval times.

Shakespeare was not only a master playwright but a scribe of evocative sonnets and in celebration of his birthday, we announce the return of Shakespeare Within the Abbey: All Places that the Eye of Heaven Visits, directed by Claire van Kampen with Mark Rylance leading a company of 22 actors in amongst the audience at Westminster Abbey. Darren Raymond, Artistic Director of Intermission Theatre will direct our Shakespeare Walks: Sweet Love Remember’d on the 20 and 21 April.

For those starting their journey to Shakespeare, this year’s Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production will be Romeo and Juliet, directed by Michael Oakley. Opening on 28 February, 20,000 free tickets are available to state secondary schools in London and Birmingham for this vivid production created especially for 11-18 year-olds with seven performances especially for families.

On 9 March a day of panel discussions and workshops will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of actor Richard Burbage and what would have been Globe founder, Sam Wanamaker’s 100th birthday.  

Shakespeare’s Telling Tales, now in its fourth year, celebrates the joy of storytelling in a festival full of children’s authors, performers and storytellers with workshops and Q&As focusing on Robin Hood and his band merry men and women.

Six plays featuring Robin Hood will be revived and performed in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as brave actors undertake the challenge of Read Not Dead by learning and performing a play in just one day.

If you didn’t catch it at the Globe, 2019 is the chance to see Emilia in its West End transfer to the Vaudeville Theatre. From 8 March.

Excited much? Here’s when and how to book:

Members

  • Advance priority booking for Best Friends & Patrons opens Monday 14 January, 10.00am.
  • Priority booking for Friends opens Monday 21 January, 10.00am.

Become a Member to access priority booking and a range of additional benefits →

Public booking opens Monday 04 February, 10.00am

We would like to thank our principal sponsor, Merian Global Investors for their support of

our 2019 summer season.

#ArchiveWeek. Did you know we have an archive?  Inspired by the…

#ArchiveWeek. 

Did you know we have an archive?  

Inspired by the Archives and Records Association between 17-27 November 2018 we will be opening the vaults, diving in and sharing some of the best bits covering the following themes:

Saturday 17 November – #MusicArchives
Sunday 18 November – #ReligiousArchives
Monday 19 November – #ArchiveAnniversaries
Tuesday 20 November – #HairyArchives
Wednesday 21 November – #MaritimeArchives
Thursday 22 November – #DiversityArchives
Friday 23 November – #ArchiveAnimals
Saturday 24 November – #SportingArchives
Sunday 25 November – #InternationalArchives

See our findings on Twitter and maybe on Instagram.

#ArchiveWeek. Did you know we have an archive?  Inspired by the…

#ArchiveWeek. 

Did you know we have an archive?  

Inspired by the Archives and Records Association between 17-27 November 2018 we will be opening the vaults, diving in and sharing some of the best bits covering the following themes:

Saturday 17 November – #MusicArchives
Sunday 18 November – #ReligiousArchives
Monday 19 November – #ArchiveAnniversaries
Tuesday 20 November – #HairyArchives
Wednesday 21 November – #MaritimeArchives
Thursday 22 November – #DiversityArchives
Friday 23 November – #ArchiveAnimals
Saturday 24 November – #SportingArchives
Sunday 25 November – #InternationalArchives

See our findings on Twitter and maybe on Instagram.

Love Theatre Day 2018 – what to expect.14 November is Love…

Love Theatre Day 2018 – what to expect.

14 November is Love Theatre Day where we will be celebrating all things theatre and giving you a glimpse behind the scenes of what goes on at the Globe.

Did you know ‘the Globe’ as we call it actually comprises two theatres – the Globe Theatre and the indoor, candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – and lots of other, slightly less glamorous buildings? 

Follow us on Twitter @The_Globe

What to expect today: 

#Backstage (10am to 12pm): go behind the scenes and get a glimpse of working life at the Globe.

#Showtime (7pm to 10pm): join us backstage in the moments before a show. 

Every day is Love Theatre Day at the Globe so stay with us for exclusive insights into our world across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Love Theatre Day 2018 – what to expect.14 November is Love…

Love Theatre Day 2018 – what to expect.

14 November is Love Theatre Day where we will be celebrating all things theatre and giving you a glimpse behind the scenes of what goes on at the Globe.

Did you know ‘the Globe’ as we call it actually comprises two theatres – the Globe Theatre and the indoor, candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – and lots of other, slightly less glamorous buildings? 

Follow us on Twitter @The_Globe

What to expect today: 

#Backstage (10am to 12pm): go behind the scenes and get a glimpse of working life at the Globe.

#Showtime (7pm to 10pm): join us backstage in the moments before a show. 

Every day is Love Theatre Day at the Globe so stay with us for exclusive insights into our world across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram