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Shakespeare’s Globe announces Summer Season 2020

Season preview

SHAKESPEARE’S Globe has announced its Summer Season 2020 and it will include Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Antony & Cleopatra, a two-day event Globe 4 Globe: Shakespeare and Climate Emergency, and a symposium Shakespeare and Race.

There will also be a Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production of Macbeth with 20,000 free tickets to school children, the return of family festival Telling Tales, and a new dramatisation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses by the Globe’s resident writers.

Michelle Terry, Artistic Director, said: “This summer the Globe Theatre will be fuelled by mythic love and the hope of radical and positive transformation. The preoccupations that consume Shakespeare’s work are not too distant from our own: growing inequality, social injustice, a natural world raging at the irresponsibility of humankind.

“But through these metaphysical and mythic works of art we are also given the opportunity to imagine an alternative. Under the sun and the moon in the most unique, irreverent and inherently theatrical playhouse in the world, we continue to look to the past to help us better understand the world today and the role we all play in creating its future.”

Romeo & Juliet, directed by Ola Ince, opens the season running from April 14 to July 12. Alfred Enoch will play Romeo. Best known for playing Wes Gibbins in How To Get Away With Murder (ABC) and Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter film series, Enoch’s theatre credits include Tree (Young Vic), RED (West End), King Lear (Manchester Royal Exchange), Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse) and Timon of Athens (National Theatre). He has also appeared on television in Trust Me, Sherlock and Broadchurch.

Ola Ince is currently an Artistic Associate at The Royal Court and winner of the h100 Theatre & Performance Award. Her credits include Appropriate (Donmar Warehouse), The Convert (Young Vic), and Poet In Da Corner (Royal Court).

As human-made climate change threatens to dissolve the ‘great globe itself’, a new two-day event, Globe 4 Globe: Shakespeare and Climate Emergency, will take place on May 1 and May 2. Activists, experts and theatre practitioners will gather in a vital exploration of the relationships between Shakespeare’s works and the current climate crisis.

Scholars will explore ecological collapse and renewal in Shakespeare’s texts; environmental experts will map out ways in which Shakespearean theatres and festivals can achieve sustainable and ethical futures, and theatre professionals will reflect on the capacity of live theatre to change audience perception and behaviour.

This summer, the Globe will also assess the environmental impact of its production process by analysing Romeo & Juliet from start to finish. To coincide with Earth Day, there will be a week of matinee-only performances starting at 2pm to reduce the use of energy-consuming lighting.

Twelfth Night, performed by the Globe Ensemble and directed by Associate Artistic Director Sean Holmes, runs from May 15 to October 3. Holmes most recently directed the Globe Ensemble in Henry VI and Richard III in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the 2019 Summer Season.

Holmes recently stepped down from the Lyric Hammersmith after almost a decade as Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive. His tenure at the Lyric included programming game-changing shows such as Three Kingdoms, directing 22 productions, including the Olivier Award-winning Blasted, the worldwide hit Ghost Stories, and the first stage version of Bugsy Malone in over a decade. His years of experience working with ensembles include Filter and the ground-breaking Secret Theatre project.

The Globe inaugural ‘Scriptorium’, a twelve-month residency for three playwrights, will create a new version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (September 4 to October 3). The new writers-in-residence are Sami Ibrahim, Laura Lomas and Sabrina Mahfouz. Defined as ‘a space devoted to writing’ the Scriptorium will work on their new production alongside the Globe’s resident Ensemble and will be mentored by established playwrights who have written plays for the Globe stage.

They will also receive support from the Globe’s research faculty, and will be invited to attend rehearsals, workshops and performances throughout the year. The production will be performed by the Globe Ensemble and co-directed by Sean Holmes and Holly Race Roughan, who is Associate Artistic Director at Headlong, and an Associate Director for Kestrel, and was the Director of the Lyric Ensemble at the Lyric Hammersmith from 2018-19.

Building on the success of 2018’s festival, Shakespeare and Race will return as a two-day symposium on May 15 and May 16. Organised in partnership with the University of Sussex, the festival will focus on the performance of race on the Shakespearean stage, as well as the racial dynamics in play when Renaissance plays are staged today. Theatre practitioners, educationalists and academics will gather to reflect on the intersection of performing race with religion; eroticism and exoticism; stagecraft, acting and directing.

This year’s Sam Wanamaker Fellow, Niels Brunse, will appear on the Playhouse stage on June 11. One of just three living translators who have translated Shakespeare’s complete works, Niels will discuss the pitfalls and rewards of translating Shakespeare into another language.

Eleanor Rhode will direct Much Ado About Nothing, which runs from June 19 to October 4. Rhode was last at the Globe directing Boudica (2017). She has recently directed King John at the RSC, and her other credits include Rust (The Bush/Hightide), Blue Door (Theatre Royal Bath), and Wendy and Peter Pan (Royal Lyceum Theatre).

The Globe Ensemble (a separate company to the actors performing Twelfth Night and Metamorphoses) will also perform Antony & Cleopatra (July 18 to August 29). Cleopatra will be played by Nadia Nadarajah, and the ensemble will also include Artistic Director Michelle Terry and Federay Holmes.

Nadia Nadarajah most recently played Celia in As You Like It (2018 and 2019). Her most recent credits include Midnight Movie (Royal Court), Going Through (Bush Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Bristol Old Vic), The House of Bernada Alba (Royal Exchange), and Notre Dame (National Theatre).

Michelle Terry most recently played Hotspur in Henry IV Part 1 in the Summer Season 2019, and Lady Macbeth last year in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Her other credits include the titular role in Hamlet, As You Like It (Globe, 2018), Cleansed (National Theatre), and Tribes (Royal Court), for which she won an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Federay Holmes was most recently at the Globe co-directing the Globe Ensemble for last year’s History trilogy of Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V, and 2017’s As You Like It and Hamlet.

Shakespeare’s Telling Tales, the Globe’s annual family festival, will return between July 23 and July 26, celebrating storytelling in all its forms. Half term editions of the festival will take place in February and October, with Kate Pankhurst, Jasmine Sims and Josephs Coelho all part of the line-up for next month’s Half Term Tales.

Brendan O’Hea returns to direct Globe on Tour, where a company of eight actors will once again offer audiences around the world a trio of plays, which this year will be The Tempest, As You Like It and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. For selected performances, the company will revive the Shakespearean tradition of allowing audiences to vote for the play they’d like to see most.

A director, actor, and education practitioner, O’Hea directed 2019 and 2018’s Globe on Tour, Tom Stuart’s new play After Edward (2019), and has previously performed in a number of productions at Shakespeare’s Globe including Cymbeline (2015), Measure for Measure (2015) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014).

Returning this April is The Shakespeare Walks: Sweet Love Remember’d, a three-hour walk celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday, brought alive by actors delivering sonnets and speeches along the way. The Walks start from one of two destinations, the parish of Shoreditch, where the original theatre was built in 1576, or from Westminster, the seat of power. Conceived by Mark Rylance, who will be part of the company, Sweet Love Remember’d has taken place for over 25 years.

Refugee Week (June 15 to June 21) will see the Globe host its Worlds Elsewhere Festival, bringing artists together from across the Globe to respond to Shakespeare through the prism of their lived experience. Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the June 20. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, encouraging a better understanding between communities.

The biennial Shakespeare’s Globe Book Award returns this year, celebrating new scholarship and the most significant recent contributions to the understanding of early modern plays and playhouses. The winning author will present a public lecture in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse exploring their first monograph on September 17.

This year’s Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production is Macbeth, directed by Cressida Brown. Opening on February 26, this full-scale production is created especially for young people, with 20,000 free tickets made available annually to state schools in London and Birmingham.

Read Not Dead, the Globe’s popular script-in-hand performances which revive otherwise forgotten plays, will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. Starting in April, performances throughout the year will celebrate the English actor and dramatist Nathan Field, with titles such as The Knight of Malta and The Mad Lover all being revived for Globe audiences. The usual Read Not Dead ground rules apply: actors receive the script on a Sunday morning and present it to the audience the same afternoon.