Shakespeare’s Globe is preparing to reopen its outdoor theatre for socially distanced performances on 19 May 2021, provided the conditions are met for Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap.
The summer season 2021 opens with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, followed by Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night. The Globe Touring Ensemble will perform As You Like It, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, including some of the ever-popular Audience Choice performances. Metamorphoses, a new piece of theatre by the Globe’s writers-in-residence and inspired by Ovid’s Myths, will open in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on 30 September.
The season includes: Jean Chan, Alfred Enoch, Jim Fortune, Sean Holmes, Sami Ibrahim, Ola Ince, Laura Lomas, Sabrina Mahfouz, Brendan O’Hea, Holly Race Roughan and Michelle Terry. For the first time productions will be live streamed from the Globe stage, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night and Metamorphoses.
Opening in 2022’s summer season will be the postponed 2021 production King Lear, with Kathryn Hunter reprising a performance that made history 24 years ago, in a new production with Helena Kaut-Howson returning to direct. The international team also includes movement director Marcello Magni, designer Pawel Dobrzycki and composer Boleslaw Rawski.
Artistic director Michelle Terry said: “To even be announcing a season means that we are inching ever closer to getting back to doing the thing that we love, the thing that the Globe was built for, and the thing that so many of us, artists and audience alike, have lost during this time: sharing time, space and story with as many people as is safe.
“This is a historic moment, and not to be underestimated; we have a long way to go as we emerge and heal from this, but theatre can help us get there: that’s what it’s for. To express the often inexpressible, bear the often unbearable, laugh, cry, be – safely – together. The readiness is all and Shakespeare’s Globe is ready.”
Opening the season on 19 May (running to 30 October), will be the much-celebrated 2019 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The ensemble for this production will also be performing Twelfth Night, which opens on 29 July (running to 30 October). Both productions will be directed by Sean Holmes, with assistant director Prime Issac. The Globe’s artistic director Michelle Terry will perform Viola. Holmes is associate artistic director of the Globe.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night includes Shona Babayemi as Helena and Olivia, Peter Bourke as Oberon and Antonio, Rachel Hannah Clarke as Sung and Curio, Bryan Dick as Lysander and Orsino, Victoria Elliott as Titania and Feste, George Fouracres as Flute and Aguecheek, Nadine Higgin as Quince and Sir Toby Belch, Nadi Kemp-Sayfi as Hermia and Maria, Ciáran O’Brien as Demetrius and Sebastian, Sophie Russell as Bottom and Malvolio, Michelle Terry as Viola and Jacoba Williams as Fabian and Snout. Music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed by musicians from the Hackney Colliery Band. Also in the creative team are Jean Chan (design), Sasha Milavic Davies (movement director) and Jim Fortune (composer).
Opening 26 June (running to 17 October), Romeo & Juliet will be directed by Ola Ince with Jacob Hughes (designer), Rachel Lemon (assistant director) and Max Perryment (composer). The production sees the return of many of the original company, who were in rehearsals when the theatre closed, including Alfred Enoch as Romeo and Rebekah Murrell as Juliet, Beth Cordingly as Lady Capulet, Will Egerton as Tybalt, Adam Gillen as Mercutio, Clara Indrani as Montague, Zoe West as Benvolio, Dwane Walcott as Paris and Sargon Yelda as Friar.
The Globe Touring Ensemble will also be performing its 2020 postponed productions of As You Like It and The Tempest at the Globe from 8 June to 29 August. Directed by Brendan O’Hea with associate director, Vanessa-Faye Stanley, Andrew D Edwards (designer), Catherine Jayes (composer) and Globe associate artist Sian Williams (choreographer).
Cast includes Stephenson Ardern-Sodje, Tom Chapman, Anna Crichlow, Mark Desebrock, Emma Ernest, Colm Gormley, Sara Lessore and Katy Secombe. This ensemble of eight actors will be asking audiences to vote for the play that they would most like to see in ‘Audience Choice’ shows.
Opening 30 September (running to 30 October), Metamorphoses is a new piece of theatre inspired by Ovid’s powerful myths of chaos and creation. This piece has been written bespoke to the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by Globe writers-in-residence Sami Ibrahim, Laura Lomas and Sabrina Mahfouz. Metamorphoses will be directed by Sean Holmes and associate artistic director of Headlong, Holly Race Roughan, and will feature four actors.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bankproject. As the Globe closed on 16 March 2020, there were 1,500 school children attending a production of Macbeth. The scheme sees 18,000 free tickets going to state secondary school children from London and Birmingham with a show designed especially for young people. This year the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed for Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank audiences, from 28 September. Deutsche Bank have confirmed their support for the project in 2022, leading to a sixteenth year in partnership.