Gemma Arterton To Play THE DUCHESS OF MALFI At The Globe In 2014
Shakespeare's Globe is delighted to announce that Gemma Arterton will be returning in January 2014 to play the Duchess in the forthcoming production of The Duchess of Malfi - the inaugural production in the new indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Gemma made her professional stage debut at the Globe in 2007, fresh from RADA, when she won huge critical acclaim as Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost. She went on to star as Hilde Wangel in Ibsen's The Master Builder at the Almeida and as Ellen in Jamie Lloyd's The Little Dog Laughed at the Garrick. She also played Tess in the BBC television adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles and the iconic Tamara Drewe in Stephen Frears' film of the same name. Her other film credits includeQuantum of Solace, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, St Trinian's, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Hansel and Gretel and Runner Runner.
Gemma said: "To play the Duchess of Malfi in a magical new theatre seemed an irresistible opportunity for me. I am thrilled to be coming back to Shakespeare's Globe where I made my stage debut and I really look forward to the adventure of performing in such an intimate and wonderful space."
The box office is already open for The Duchess of Malfi, with the second and final tranche of tickets due for release on 18 November once seating is complete in the new theatre.
On Sunday 13 October, Shakespeare's Globe concluded another triumphant summer theatre season in the outdoor theatre. The three Shakespeares - The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth - played to average audiences of 95% capacity. Over 160,000 groundling tickets, still priced at just £5 as they have been since the Globe opened its doors sixteen years ago, were sold across the 2013 season. Including five touring productions and last year's West End transfer of Twelfth Night and Richard III, Shakespeare's Globe has sold over half a million tickets in the past year. Hundreds of thousands of people in eleven different countries have watched this year's Globe On Screen cinema releases.
The Globe's programme of new writing went from strength to strength, opening with the smash hit Gabriel - a ground-breaking collaboration between Classical Brit Award-winning trumpeter Alison Balsom and playwright Samuel Adamson. It was followed byBlue Stockings, first-time playwright Jessica Swale's vivid tale of the first female students at Cambridge University, and The Lightning Child, Ché Walker and Arthur Darvill's anarchic and exuberant musical remix of Euripides' The Bacchae.
This year the Globe welcomed companies from Minsk, Tbilisi, Kerala and Cape Town as part of the 'Globe to Globe' programme of international Shakespeare. Small-scale productions of King Lear and The Taming of the Shrew travelled far and wide, including to four first-time destinations (such as Hong Kong and Singapore) for Globe On Tour productions. Nick Bagnall's new productions of the three Henry VI plays were staged in the open air at four Wars of the Roses battlefields, with the final - and exceptionally rain-drenched - show at Barnet live-streamed to thousands of viewers worldwide in partnership with The Space, the BBC's digital arts service.
2013 also saw a Shakespeare's Globe production transfer to Broadway for the first time. Twelfth Night and Richard III with Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry will open in New York on 10 November, with productions playing in repertory for a 16-week run and250 $25 tickets available for each performance. The productions were two of London theatre's biggest hits of last summer, completely selling out performances at the Globe and creating queues around the block in the West End.
In other touring news, Shakespeare's Globe and English Touring Theatre will be takingHoward Brenton's Eternal Love, the story of the doomed love affair of Heloise and Abelard, on tour around the UK between January and April 2014. The play had a triumphant run at the Globe in 2006 under the title In Extremis - it is now being revived by the same creative team who brought us Brenton's 2012 sharp and vibrant Anne Boleyn.
As well as gearing up for the very first season in the indoor playhouse, this winter Shakespeare's Globe will also be co-producing (with Blakeway Productions) a second series of the documentary programme Shakespeare Uncovered, to be aired in summer 2014 on the BBC and on PBS in the United States. Over the course of six 60-minute episodes, six eminent Shakespearean actors and directors will explore the stories behind, and the wonders within, some of Shakespeare's greatest plays.