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Shakespeare's Globe Reopens Outdoor Theatre From 19 May

The summer season 2021 opens with Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, followed by Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night.

Shakespeare's Globe Reopens Outdoor Theatre From 19 May

Shakespeare's Globe is preparing to reopen its outdoor theatre on 19 May 2021. Provided the conditions are met for Step 3 of the Government's roadmap for cultural reopening, the Globe will be welcoming audiences in for socially distanced performances, having closed on 18 March 2020.

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.

The outdoor theatre is introducing protocols for a safe return to live theatre for audiences in line with the See It Safely campaign from UK Theatre and SOLT, including staggered arrival times, allocated entrances, no intervals, pre-ordered drinks, and for the initial period of opening there will be seating in the Yard. Despite reduced capacity there are still limited tickets available at £5.

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 retelling this story for today also includes movement director Marcello Magni, designer Pawel Dobrzycki and composer Boleslaw Rawski.

Michelle Terry, Artistic Director, 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 Wednesday 19 May, 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 both productions will be directed by Sean Holmes, with Assistant Director Prime Issac. The Globe's Artistic Director Michelle Terry will perform Viola. Sean is Associate Artistic Director of the Globe. He was previously Artistic Director and Joint Chief Executive of the Lyric Hammersmith for almost a decade. Sean's tenure at the Lyric included programming game-changing shows such as Three Kingdoms, and directing productions including the Olivier Award-winning Blasted and the worldwide hit Ghost Stories. His years of experience working with ensembles include Filter and the ground-breaking Secret Theatre project.

A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night includes Shona Babayemi as Helena and Olivia, Peter Bourke as Oberon and Antonio (Henry IV Parts I and II with the RSC, The Mayor of Casterbridge and David Copperfield), Jean Chan Designing, Rachel Hannah Clarke as Sung and Curio (You Remember with the Royal Court, Queens of Sheba with The Vaults and Hatch with the Talawa Theatre Company), Sasha Milavic Davies (Movement Director). Bryan Dick as Lysander and Orsino (Eric and Ernie, Master and Commander and Hobson's Choice with Theatre Royal Bath), Victoria Elliott as Titania and Feste (Hebburn, The Lost Disc with the Soho Theatre, Hedda Gabler with Northern Stage), Jim Fortune (Composer), George Fouracres as Flute and Aguecheek (A Midsummer Night's Dream with Lyric Hammersmith, Spitting Image, The Bremmer Files), Nadine Higgin as Quince and Sir Toby Belch (Allelujah! The Bridge Theatre, The Lion King Lyceum Theatre and Military Wives), Nadi Kemp-Sayfi as Hermia and Maria (The Whip, A Museum in Baghdad and King John with the RSC and Virilicus with Birmingham Rep) Ciáran O'Brien as Demetrius and Sebastian The Plough and the Stars with Lyric Hammersmith), Misfits and Ripper Street (BBC), Sophie Russell as Bottom and Malvolio (Richard III, Henry VI, Henry V, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2 and Bottom's Dream with Shakespeare's Globe, The Prudes with the Royal Court and King Lear with the RSC), Artistic Director Michelle Terry as Viola and Jacoba Williams as Fabian and Snout (The Snow Queen with Stephen Joseph Theatre, When the Sea Swallows us Whole and Queens of Sheba with the Vaults Festival). Music for A Midsummer Night's Dream will be performed by musicians from the Hackney Colliery Band.

Opening 26 June, Romeo & Juliet will be directed by Ola Ince. Ola 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).

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. Alfred is best known for playing Wes Gibbins in How To Get Away With Murder (ABC) and Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter film series. Alfred's theatre credits include Crave (Chichester Festival Theatre); Tree (Young Vic); RED (Wyndham's Theatre/MGC); King Lear (Royal Exchange); Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse); Timon of Athens and Antigone (National Theatre). Television credits include Foundation (Apple TV); Trust Me (Red Production Company); Troy: Fall of a City (BBC); Sherlock (BBC/Hartswood Films) and Broadchurch (ITV/Kudos). Rebekah's theatre credits include Living Newspaper: Edition One, Scenes with Girls, Glass. Kill. Bluebeard. Imp. (Royal Court); Whitewash (Soho Theatre); Nine Night (National Theatre and Trafalgar Studios). Screen credits include Trying (BBC/Apple); Roman Mysteries and Myths (BBC) and Pirates (Hillbilly Films/BBC/BFI), Beth Cordingly as Lady Capulet (The Merry Wives of Windsor with the RSC, Family Affairs and The Bill), Will Egerton as Tybalt (Will trained at Arts Ed and Romeo & Juliet is his professional debut), Adam Gillen as Mercutio (Benidorm, Fresh Meat and Killer Joe with Trafalgar Studios), Jacob Hughes (Designer), Clara Indrani as Montague (Flesh and Blood, Vera and Marcella), Rachel Lemon (Assistant Director), Max Perryment (Composer), Zoe West as Benvolio (Peter Pan with the Chester Storyhouse, Much Ado About Nothing with the Dubai Opera House and Out of Water with the RSC), Dwane Walcott as Paris (Our Girl, Anna with the National Theatre and Hamlet with the Barbican) and Sargon Yelda as Friar (Dead Pixels, Antony and Cleopatra with the National Theatre and King Lear with the Old Vic).

The Globe Touring Ensemble will also be performing their 2020 postponed productions of As You Like It and The Tempest at the Globe from 8 June. 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. A director, actor, and education practitioner, Brendan directed 2019 and 2018's Globe Touring Ensemble, 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). Plans for the touring company to perform As You Like It, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream beyond Bankside will be announced in due course, including work with and within the local community.

Opening 30 September, 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, with the company comprising Holly Race Roughan, Grace Smart (Designer) and four actors. As part of a continued commitment to new writing, the Globe is launching 'The Globe Writer's Week', a week-long residency for a select group of writers to explore writing for epic spaces.

This year marks the 15th Anniversary of the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank project. 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. Since the programme started more than 200,000 students have benefited from the programme, which has supported the teaching of English in the UK National Curriculum. 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 16th year in partnership.

The Globe's Education department is also launching a new series of webinars on the relationship between race, social justice, and Shakespeare. Anti-Racist Shakespeare: Perspectives on the Plays will enable live discussion over Zoom hosted by Shakespeare's Globe and delivered by actors and scholars of colour. Audience members, theatre professionals, teachers and scholars from all backgrounds will be invited to add to the discussion over Q&A's. The first webinar will focus on A Midsummer Night's Dream on 20 May at 6pm.

Running alongside each production in the season will be activities to explore these plays for every age and stage and context. These include Behind Closed Doors, offering a sneak-peak into the rehearsal room and beyond, the Globe's Education department's ever-popular family storytelling events Shakespeare's Telling Tales, and a new series In Conversation, enables in-depth discussion of social, political and cultural issues with a Globe scholar.

The Globe received a lifeline grant of £3million from the Government's Cultural Recovery Fund, set up to protect the nation's world renowned cultural, arts and heritage intuitions. The Cultural Recovery Fund is supporting the Globe in its reopening costs, having been launched in July 2020 at the Globe by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Secretary of State for Culture Oliver Dowden.

The Garfield Weston Foundation has significantly supported the Globe's recovery through a major grant of £750,000 from the Weston Culture Fund. Established in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family founded charitable grant-making trust, which recently launched a £25million fund to support the cultural sector's recovery following the impact of Covid-19. The foundation received applications from across the sector totalling over £128 million, five times the fund that was available and were so struck by the level of need that they increased the fund by 20% to £30million. The Globe's awarded grant will predominantly support the Globe's re-opening costs, and high-quality production filming and livestream of productions over the summer. The Globe's digital future has been supported by WarnerMedia, ensuring the digital infrastructure is secure throughout this period of closure and for future work to be made available to audiences worldwide.


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