Shakespeare’s Globe is delighted to announce Emma Rice’s inaugural season as Artistic Director. The 2016 Wonder Season will open with A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Saturday 30 April, followed by The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, 946 The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips and Imogen. Jonathan Munby’s The Merchant of Venice, starring Jonathan Pryce, will open at the Liverpool Playhouse, tour nationally and internationally, and return to the Globe stage in October. The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will host a touring production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Kneehigh’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk.
The season will be heralded by a magical forest designed by Lez Brotherston, which will spill from the piazza onto London’s Bankside, welcoming everyone to the season of Wonder. Opening on Saturday 30 April, A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be directed by Emma Rice. When four lovers, a host of fairies and the mischievous Puck take to the woods, magic, comedy and confusion ensue in equal measure. Emma’s first production as Artistic Director promises to be a riotous celebration, complete with music, dance and naughtiness.
From 13 May, Caroline Byrne’s The Taming of the Shrew tells of two sisters approaching marriage. Bianca is excited by the prospect and Kate horrified at losing her independence. Caroline’s production transports sparring couple Petruchio and Kate into a distinctly Irish setting. Caroline is a Creative Associate at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill. Her recent credits include F*ck the Polar Bears (Bush Theatre), Eclipsed (Gate Theatre) and Shakespeare in a Suitcase (co-directed with Tim Crouch, RSC).
Macbeth will be directed by Iqbal Khan. Running from 18 June, the Scottish play sees a man consumed by ambition and spurred on by a prophecy from three sisters, murdering his way to the crown. An acclaimed opera and theatre director, Iqbal has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company and English National Opera. His credits include Othello and Much Ado About Nothing (RSC), Broken Glass (Tricycle, West End), A Slight Ache and Landscape (National Theatre) and The Wild Man of the West Indies (English Touring Opera).
Running from 17 September, Imogen, Shakespeare’s Cymbeline renamed and reclaimed, will be directed by recently appointed Associate Director Matthew Dunster. Matthew is an Olivier-nominated director and playwright whose world première production of Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen has just transferred from the Royal Court to the West End. He has directed four shows for the Globe, The Frontline, Troilus and Cressida, Dr Faustus and The Lightning Child. Other recent credits include Love’s Sacrifice (RSC), The Seagull (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Liberian Girl (Royal Court).
Acclaimed Kneehigh shows will be brought to Shakespeare’s Globe this summer, with the Globe stage hosting 946 The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, a co-adaptation by Michael Morpurgo and Emma Rice. Michael Morpurgo is one of the UK’s most beloved and successful authors whose work includes War Horse, Kensuke’s Kingdom and Private Peaceful. Running from 11 August to 11 September, this critically acclaimed show retells and reimagines Morpurgo’s novel The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, about the preparation for the D-Day landings. In the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, from 16 June to 2 July, Emma Rice directs Daniel Jamieson’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk. This Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic production charting the marriage between Marc and Bella Chagall, draws upon music and dance inspired by the Russian Jewish tradition. It tells of a young couple who must navigate the Pogroms, the Russian Revolution, forced migration and each other.
Jonathan Munby’s The Merchant of Venice will open at the Liverpool Playhouse in June, touring nationally and internationally, returning to the Globe stage in October. Multi-award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce will reprise his role as Shylock in this critically acclaimed production. Jonathan Pryce CBE is an internationally acclaimed stage and screen actor. His extensive theatre work includes Comedians in London and on Broadway, for which he won a Tony Award, Hamlet in London, for which he received an Olivier Award, and Miss Saigon, in which he starred on both sides of the Atlantic, winning further Olivier and Tony awards. His screen credits include Cardinal Wolsey in Wolf Hall, Carrington (for which he won the Cannes Film Festival and Evening Standard Awards for Best Actor), Evita and Tomorrow Never Dies.
A touring production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona will be presented by Shakespeare’s Globe and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, directed by Everyman & Playhouse Associate Director Nick Bagnall. The production will play in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from 19 September to 1 October 2016. Nick’s previous productions at Shakespeare’s Globe include Henry VI: Parts I, II and III (2013), The Last Days of Troy (2014), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2014) and The Odyssey: Missing, Presumed Dead (2015). Nick’s other credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Liverpool Everyman) and Entertaining Mr Sloane (Trafalgar Studios).
John Wolfson’s play The Inn at Lydda will be performed in the Playhouse in September. John is Honorary Curator of Rare Books for the Globe, a playwright and author of William Shakespeare and the Short Story Collections. Based on a reference in the New Testament Apocrypha, the play follows Tiberius Caesar and a remarkable meeting with Jesus Christ in Judea. Having opened the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2014, the Globe is now actively planning its very own library and archive on site, on London’s Bankside. John has generously agreed to bequeath to the Globe an important collection of rare and valuable volumes, including a First Folio and Quarto editions. Having these texts will cement the Globe’s reputation as the first point of reference for teaching, research and interpretation of Shakespeare in performance.
2016 SUMMER SEASON: 30 April – 16 October
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
30 April – 11 September 2016
Press night: Thursday 5 May 2016
The Taming of the Shrew
13 May – 6 August 2016
Press night: Friday 20 May 2016
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk
(presented by Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic)
16 June – 2 July
18 June – 1 October 2016
Press night: Thursday 23 June 2016
946 The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips
(Kneehigh in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
11 August – 11 September
Press night: Wednesday 17 August
17 September – 16 October 2016
Press night: Friday 23 September
Two Gentlemen of Verona
(presented by Shakespeare’s Globe and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse)
20 September – 1 October: Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
October: Liverpool Everyman
The Merchant of Venice
4 – 15 October: Globe Theatre
June-July: Liverpool Playhouse
The Inn at Lydda
September (dates TBC)