Category: Theatre

Measure for Measure gender swap may be theatri…

Measure for Measure gender swap may be theatrical first: undefined

Photos from the Sam Wanamaker Festival 201840 students from 20…

Photos from the Sam Wanamaker Festival 2018

40 students from 20 drama schools arrived at Shakespeare’s Globe on Friday and spent the entire weekend singing, workshopping and dancing together as part of the Sam Wanamaker Festival 2018

On Sunday they presented duologues from plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries to a roaring crowd. Photographer Cesare De Giglio captured them on stage and also backstage in the lead up to their energetic performance which ended with one mighty ‘Globe jig’!

The event was a gorgeous celebration of the conservatoire training available in the UK and lovely to watch emerging actors perform together as a company.

The 1,500 strong audience raised the ‘roof’ (well, we don’t have a roof but you know what we mean!) in support of the students – on Sunday Shakespeare’s Globe was pulsating with energy, at its liveliest and loudest.

Naturally we can’t wait to do it all again next year. See you in 2019!

Photography by Cesare De Giglio 

Five Star Reviews for #FourSeasons!Gyre & Gimble’s…

Five Star Reviews for #FourSeasons!

Gyre & Gimble’s Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: A Reimagining plays in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until Saturday 21 April 2018 and has opened to an amazing audience and critical response.

‘Some of the most magical and moving puppeteering you will get to see […] a remarkable evening’
The Times

Financial Times

‘Gyre & Gimble have made magic’
The Arts Desk

‘An emotional rollercoaster, filled with touching and charming moments […] A night you will never forget’

‘Feels like something entirely new, a genre unto itself, and a really exciting one at that’

‘Spellbinding in its simplicity and for the breadth of its emotional canvas’
The Stage

‘There are not enough words to praise the work of art that the team of The Four Seasons performed’
The Upcoming

‘Puppetry at its finest’
Theatre Bubble

‘This vastly skilled team imbue every tiny, sensitive movement with meaning and feeling’
The Independent

‘This has dramatically transformed for me what is possible with the medium’
Exeunt Magazine

‘Gyre & Gimble are puppet directors at the top of their game’
Time Out

See more photos on Facebook

Pictured: puppeteers Avye Leventis, Elisa De Grey, Ben Thompson, Craig Leo and John Leader, photography by Steve Tanner.


When Dorothy famously triumphed over the Wicke…

When Dorothy famously triumphed over the Wicked Witch, we only ever heard one side of the story. Gregory Maguire’s acclaimed 1995 novel, ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’, re-imagines the Land of Oz, creating a parallel universe to the familiar story written by L. Frank Baum and first published as ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ in 1900.

Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young women who first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba. Following an encounter with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different paths. Glinda’s unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power while Elphaba’s determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking consequences for her future. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Acclaimed as “one of the West End’s true modern classics” (Metro), and already the 15th longest running show in London theatre history, Wicked has show-stopping songs by Academy Award® winner Stephen Schwartz and is adapted for the stage by Winnie Holzman (My So Called Life).

Wicked is a three-time winner of the WhatsOnStage Award for ‘Best West End Show’ and a two-time winner of the Olivier Audience Award.  

Get your tickets here!

#GlobeOnTour 2018 in RehearsalOur #GlobeOnTour company are in…

Cynthia Emeagi.

Cynthia Emeagi.

Steffan Cennydd and Sarah Finigan.

Luke Brady.

Steffan Cennydd.

Colm Gormley and Rhianna McGreevy.

Brendan O’ Hea (Director) and Isabel Marr (Assistant Director).

Rhianna McGreevy.

Cynthia Emeagi, Russell Layton, Colm Gormley, Steffan Cennydd, Jacqueline Phillips, Rhianna McGreevy, Sarah Finigan and Luke Brady.

#GlobeOnTour 2018 in Rehearsal

Our #GlobeOnTour company are in rehearsals. This year they will take Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice on tour to various venues across the world. 

Some of the performances will be decided beforehand, but for others the choice of play will often be given to the audience on the evening of the performance, in order to experiment with how a company would have toured in Shakespeare’s day.

See the full rehearsal gallery on Facebook

Browse tour locations

Photography by Marc Brenner

Apprentice Jadzia’s Big Awards Win!Today, as well as celebrating…

Apprentice Jadzia’s Big Awards Win!

Today, as well as celebrating National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2018), we’re cheering a massive congratulations to our apprentice Jadzia for her big achievement last night at the Lewisham Southwark College Apprenticeship Awards.

Jadzia won Creative Apprentice of the Year Award – a well-deserved recognition of all the amazing work she is doing here with us and at college. Well done Jadzia!

In addition, we successfully scooped the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Prize, another fantastic result.

A very successful night in Southwark for Shakespeare’s Globe!

Read more about the Shakespeare’s Globe apprentices

Pictured: Andrew Lawson (Head of Human Resources, Shakespeare’s Globe) and Jadzia Francis (Education Operations Apprentice)

Photography: Joe O’Neill

Meet the Shakespeare’s Globe Apprentices!It’s National…

Meet the Shakespeare’s Globe Apprentices!

It’s National Apprenticeship Week, and our four Apprentices Ria-Renee, Pedro, Joshua and Jadzia wanted to share their experiences working at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Our Apprenticeship Scheme employs these 4 young people who work across our Theatre, Communications, Education and Visitor Experience teams. They are working full-time and studying for Level 2 qualifications at Lewisham Southwark College (in Live Events and Promotion, Business Administration and Cultural Venue Operations). 

With us for a year, the Apprentices are valued members of our Globe community, contributing amazing work to the different projects they are engaging with. 

This week, congratulations are in order for Jadzia who was awarded the title of Creative Apprentice of the Year at the Southwark College Apprenticeship Awards!


‘Working at the Globe is very active and very fun – I have achieved and will achieve more amazing experience here.’ Ria-Renee


‘Working at Shakespeare’s Globe is a fulfilling and enjoyable experience.’ Pedro


‘I have grown to love working at the Globe, getting to do what I love and developing my skills on a daily basis. Being one of the first Apprentices on the scheme makes it even more exciting. Anyone who wants to become an Apprentice here should know how great of an opportunity it is.’ Joshua


‘I am really honoured to work at the Globe. It has opened my eyes to new possibilities and I am delighted to be a part of the scheme. Apprentices are the way forward!’ Jadzia

We are excited to see what great things these guys go on to do in the future!

The Shakes-peers Collective: The AlchemistsOur Shakes-peers…

The Shakes-peers Collective: The Alchemists

Our Shakes-peers Collective company have been taking part in workshops and blogging about their experiences here at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Open Access Arts’ Jeanette Rourke describes the group’s latest session.

If you were a type of dessert, based on how you feel now, what dessert would you be? There were lots of fizzy sherbets in the room today but I’m pretty sure I’d be a Banoffee Pie!

We always ‘check-in’ like this, in a fun way, at the top of our sessions. Here we all were together for the third time. We huddled together to do a pencil sketch of how the sharing of our work may be next week. Amanda and Victoria support the group whilst having the all important tea and biscuits. That done, its off to the GLOBE STAGE! Each time it is SO exciting, it is such a magical place.

We make a few simple ‘staging’ decisions and off we go! Each person ‘performing’ the pieces we have been working on, with such raw honesty. Amazing responses have also been written by some the group and we listen in wonder.

Shakespeare’s words and our words shared in this spellbinding place, how extraordinary is that!  For some that have joined us, these workshops are the first time they have ever been in real contact with Shakespeare’s language and the “I don’t know what this is” of our first session has melted away. 

By allowing ourselves to be open to the process, magical things have happened. As Shakespeare said, “you are an alchemist; make gold of that.”

Elizabethan Special EffectsIn this new series of blogs, we’re…

Elizabethan Special Effects

In this new series of blogs, we’re going to take you behind the scenes of our Guided Tours & Exhibition. Open all year round, the tour gives you an opportunity to learn more about this unique building and its most famous playwright, Shakespeare.

In this post, Exhibition Assistant Claire Reeves talks about how stage effects would have been created in Shakespeare’s time.

Facing tough competition from neighbouring theatres, such as the Rose and Swan, Shakespeare’s company, The King’s Men, had to fight hard to keep their share of the audience. So, like blockbuster movie producers today, they often looked to special effects to help wow audiences and keep them coming back for more.

There is the famous story of how, on the 29th June 1613, the company fired a cannon above the stage as part of a performance of Henry VIII. Part of the wadding flew out and landed on the thatched roof, starting a fire that would lead to the theatre burning to the ground. This was just one of the special effects used in Elizabethan Theatres. 

The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s most spectacular plays, featuring raging storms, magic and even fairies. It also features one of Shakespeare’s most spectacular special effects. In Act Three Scene Three Prospero leads part of the shipwrecked party to a grand feast conjured by the spirit Ariel. However, just as the group reaches out to take the food Ariel ‘clasps his wings upon the table and, with a quaint device, the banquet vanishes.’ So how, without Prospero’s magic books, could Shakespeare’s company make a table of food disappear before the audience’s very eyes? 

The answer is simple: with a cleverly designed Trick Table. The table would be brought onto stage elaborately decorated with the magical feast. However, what the audience doesn’t realise is this table is carefully weighted so that once a pin was removed the top of the table would flip over to reveal the blank table top, concealing the feast below. The actors would crowd round the table, appearing to grab food from the feast. This meant that when the table flipped the audience couldn’t see the movement so when the actors step away in shock the food seems to have magically disappeared.

Of course The Tempest doesn’t just require magical special effects, it also needs a storm! Whilst you could be forgiven for thinking that there is enough rain and wind in a British Summer to make storm effects unnecessary in an open air theatre, Shakespeare and his company didn’t agree! Instead they came up with numerous ingenious machines to help ensure that, even on the brightest days, you got the full force of Prospero’s Tempest! 

The easiest way to create the sound of thunder was by banging drum in the Tiring House behind the stage. However, they all produced a device called a Thunder Run which was a wooden trough attached to a stand similar to a see-saw. This would be placed in the Sound Attic above the stage. A stagehand would then place a cannon ball in the groove and roll it from one end to the other to create a rumbling sound. To complete the effect they also use a device called a Swevel to create lightening. This was a wire reaching from the roof of the heavens to the stage bellow. Gunpowder could be purchased from a grocer or ironmonger and used to make a firecracker that could be lit to fly down the wire to the stage, sending sparks all the way. 

And, of course, Lear cannot cry ‘Blow winds and crack your cheeks’ without the wind. To create the sound of wind they had a large cylinder covered in fabric. When a handle on the side was turned the cylinder would rotate, moving the fabric and creating the sound of howling winds. This technique is still used on our stage today. In fact the wind machine used in our 2008 production of King Lear can be found in our Exhibition, so why not come and have a go at creating a storm yourself? 

Visit our Exhibition and find out more about other special effects, like flying gods, demons emerging from hell and of course how they achieved all of the blood and gore needed for all of Shakespeare’s tragedies!

Words: Claire Reeves
Photo: John Wildgoose

Following its hugely successful premiere at Br…

Following its hugely successful premiere at Bristol Old Vic where it received nightly standing ovations, the critically acclaimed The Grinning Man transfers to the West End for a limited season only.

From Tony Award-winning director Tom Morris (War Horse) and Kneehigh writer Carl Grose, The Grinning Man is a magical reimagining of the classic novel by Victor Hugo (Les Misérables).

A strange new act has arrived at the fairground. Who is Grinpayne and how did he get his hideous smile? Paraded as a freak, then celebrated as a star, only the love of a sightless girl can reveal his terrible secret.

Featuring “an outstanding score” (Sunday Times) by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler, and set in a fantastical world brought to life with the visually stunning puppetry of Gyre & Gimble, the original War Horse puppeteers, and designer Jon Bausor (Bat Out of Hell).

The Grinning Man invites you to be seduced by the darkness from 6 December.  

Tickets available here: