A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, COMEDY OF ERRORS, and More Set For Shakespeare's Globe 2023 Summer Season

The season runs from April – October 2023. 

By: Jan. 18, 2023
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, COMEDY OF ERRORS, and More Set For Shakespeare's Globe 2023 Summer Season

Shakespeare's Globe has announced the Summer Season, running from April - October 2023.

  • Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe Michelle Terry stars as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Elle While, opening the season on 27 April.
  • Associate Artistic Director Sean Holmes directs The Comedy of Errors, running from 12 May.
  • Abigail Graham returns to Shakespeare's Globe to direct Macbeth, running from 21 July.
  • Ellen McDougall returns to direct As You Like It, running from 18 August.
  • Family-show Midsummer Mechanicals returns to the Playhouse from 22 July.
  • Flagship project for secondary schools, Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank, returns with The Tempest, directed by Diane Page.
  • Burnt at the Stake, or The Whole Truth, a special night of new writing runs in The Globe Theatre on 13 October.

Michelle Terry, Artistic Director, says: "2023 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's First Folio. Without this collection, 18 of Shakespeare's plays would have been lost forever including four well known and beloved plays: The Tempest, Comedy of Errors, As You Like It and Macbeth. At a time when we all stand to lose and gain so much, at a time in which we all face huge questions about who, what, and why we are, theatre remains one of the greatest and safest ways for a society to debate with itself and ask these questions. This summer, with those four folio plays, along with A Midsummer Night's Dream, we hope to surprise, challenge, excite, illuminate, provoke, and delight, as we continue to put Shakespeare to work for now and for our future on this incredible Globe.

In our theatre, our Wooden 'O', made from a 1000 oak trees, the Thames outstretched beside it, the sky above, and the earth below, in which nature, human nature and our in-human nature congregate, converse, commune and connect; what better place to experience these extraordinary plays, in this extraordinary playhouse, at this most extraordinary of times."

A Midsummer Night's Dream runs from 27 April - 12 August. Pentabus Theatre's Artistic Director Elle While (The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2019; As You Like It, Hamlet, 2018) directs Michelle Terry as the shape-shifting Puck in Shakespeare's deliciously disruptive and intoxicating curiosity of a play. At Shakespeare's Globe, Michelle Terry has played Cordelia and Fool in King Lear (2022), Viola in Twelfth Night (2021), Hotspur in Henry IV Part 1 (2019), Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (2018), Hamlet in Hamlet (2018), Rosalind in As You Like It (2015), Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream (2013), and Princess of France in Love's Labour's Lost (2007). Other theatre credits include Love's Labour's Lost, Much Ado About Nothing, The Winter's Tale, Pericles, The Crucible (RSC), and the titular role in Henry V (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre). Elle While is Artistic Director of Pentabus Theatre and an Associate Artist (Ensemble) of Shakespeare's Globe. Elle's previous work for the Globe includes The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019), Hamlet and As You Like It (2018). Her other credits include One Of Them Ones and Idyll (Pentabus); As You Like It (CBeebies); Private Peaceful (Nottingham Playhouse & UK Tour); The Silence and The Noise and Destiny (Pentabus/Rural Media); Blue Stockings (Storyhouse); and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2017-2018 UK and International Tour & West End).

The Comedy of Errors runs from 12 May - 29 July. Directed by Globe Associate Artistic Director Sean Holmes, this production of Shakespeare's madcap comedy about long-lost siblings and mistaken identities will transport us 400 years into an Elizabethan past to watch as these families unravel and descend into glorious chaos. Sean's previous work for the Globe includes The Winter's Tale (2023), The Tempest (2022), Twelfth Night (2021), Hamlet (2021) Metamorphoses (2021), Henry VI and Richard III (2020), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (2019). Prior to the Globe, Sean was the Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith.

Abigail Graham directs Macbeth running from 21 July - 28 October, following her critically acclaimed The Merchant of Venice in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. This production invites us to witness, even if we can't understand, one couple's ruthless quest for power as they turn nature upside down in Shakespeare's epic tragedy. Abigail's recent directing work includes her award-winning production of Aladdin by Vikki Stone (Lyric Hammersmith) and MUM by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Plymouth Drum/Soho Theatre). She was the director of The Bush Neighbourhood Company 2020-21, of the Lyric Hammersmith Ensemble 2019-2020, and founded and ran OpenWorks Theatre from 2013-2017.

As You Like It runs from 18 August - 29 October, directed by Ellen McDougall. Shakespeare's joyous tale of all kinds of love, between all kinds of people, unfolds in the Forest of Arden, in this exuberant tale of community, romance and redemption. Ellen was Artistic Director of The Gate Theatre from 2017 to 2022, with credits including Dear Elizabeth, Effigies of Wickedness (Songs Banned by the Nazis), The Unknown Island and Idomeneus. Ellen's other theatre credits include Othello in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, as well as Watch on the Rhine (Donmar Warehouse), Our Town (Open Air Theatre Regent's Park) and The Wolves (Stratford East).

Midsummer Mechanicals returns to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from 22 July - 26 August. The production for families and young people is co-produced by Splendid Productions, directed by Lucy Cuthbertson (Co-Director of Education) and Kerry Frampton, and written by Kerry Frampton and Ben Hales. A hilarious follow-up to the play-within-a-play from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Midsummer Mechanicals follows Peter Quince's acting troupe - known as the Mechanicals - as they attempt to recapture the success of their first hit Pyramus and Thisbe, a show so bold, brilliant and chaotic that it went down in theatre history. This production will also run for 6 performances at Shakespeare North Playhouse from 15-18 July. With both schools and public performances, Midsummer Mechanicals is the first Globe production to visit Shakespeare North Playhouse, a replica Shakespearean theatre which opened in July 2022.

These join the previously announced return of flagship project for state secondary schools, Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank. Diane Page will direct a production of The Tempest created especially for young people. Diane directed a Shakespeare's Globe production of Julius Caesar for a UK Tour in 2022, and won the 2021 JMK Award for her production of Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act staged at the Orange Tree Theatre. Public performances of The Tempest run from 18 March - 15 April, alongside the schools' project. With the support of Deutsche Bank, as part of its global youth engagement programme 'Born to Be', over 26,000 free tickets are offered to pupils aged 11-16 at London and Birmingham state schools, with subsidised tickets for schools nationwide.

For the first time the Globe will offer an associate director residency for 2023. Naeem Hayat and Indiana Lown-Collins will be Resident Associate Directors, with their tenures commencing with the Summer Season.

Since 1997, the Globe has proudly offered £5 standing tickets. Hundreds of the most economically accessible ticket in a major UK theatre will remain available for every performance, and now hundreds more will be available at £10 as well. Audiences are advised to book early to secure them. A limited number of £5 tickets will also be released close to each performance, providing a last chance way to access the cheapest tickets. Further details in Spring 2023.

Special Events

On 13 October, Burnt at the Stake, or The Whole of the Truth will showcase anonymous writers premiering new work. This evening of storytelling revolves around one provocation to these writers: If no-one knew you had said it, what would you say? If you could tell 'the whole of the truth', what would you tell? This is the night for these anonymous writers to say what needs to be said, without risk of personal attack or shame. This celebration of bold new writing in The Globe Theatre is co-curated by Hannah Khalil (Writer, Hakawatis: Women of the Arabian Nights; The Fir Tree, Globe) and Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (Writer, Emilia, Globe; Mum, Soho). Naeem Hayat (Associate Director, Henry V; Assistant Director, King Lear, Globe) and Indiana Lown-Collins (The Solid Life of Sugar Water, Orange Tree; Assistant Director, Julius Caesar, Globe) co-direct.

Family-favourite CBeebies As You Like It, filmed in The Globe Theatre will be coming to BBC iPlayer this Easter. This special adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy with a CBeebies twist features songs and dancing, recommended for ages 3+. Returning favourite Steven Kynman (CBeebies Romeo & Juliet) once again stars as William Shakespeare, alongside Rebecca Keatley (CBeebies House) as Rosalind, Sid Sagar (Queen Anne for RSC) as Orlando, Liyah Summers (Private Peaceful, Nottingham Playhouse) as Celia, Tyler Collins (Swashbuckle, CBeebies) as Oliver, Justin Fletcher (Something Special, CBeebies) as Duke Senior, Andy Day (Andy's Dinosaur Adventures, Andy and the Band, CBeebies) as Archibald Frost, Gemma Hunt (Gem in Swashbuckle, CBeebies) as Guardian of the Forest, Nigel Clarke (The Baby Club, The Toddler Club, CBeebies) as Le Beau, Forbes Masson (Bartholomew Fair, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare's Globe) as Duke Frederick, Evie Pickerill (CBeebies' Christmas in Storyland) as Amiens, Anne Odeke (Bartholomew Fair, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare's Globe) as Ada, Jennie Dale (Captain Captain in Swashbuckle, CBeebies) as Audrey, Alex Phelps (CBeebies The Night Before Christmas) as Touchstone, and Joanna Adeyinka-Burford (CBeebies House) as Charles the Wrestler. Ensemble roles will be played by Tina Rizzo and Alexander Tilly.

Shakespeare's Globe is also delighted to welcome back Shakespeare in the Abbey from 29-31 March, an event originally conceived by founding Artistic Director Mark Rylance. Returning to Westminster Abbey before it plays host to the King's coronation, audiences are invited to explore the iconic sacred space for a promenade performance, as a cast of actors perform extracts from some of Shakespeare's most famous plays and sonnets. Darren Raymond, Artistic Director of Intermission Youth will direct.

Activities for Families and Young People

Lucy Cuthbertson, Co-Director of Education, says: "Our offer for students, children and families continues to grow and thrive. This core work at the Globe aims to demystify Shakespeare and engage the next generation. The Tempest, this year's Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production directed by Diane Page, aimed at secondary aged young people, promises to be a riot of colour and action, the perfect introduction to the play. There are numerous opportunities for children to engage practically with a range of plays in the holidays through workshops and interactive storytelling performances, or to spend more time with us on a short course. We are delighted that our first, full-scale, family show, Midsummer Mechanicals, a co-production with Splendid Productions, returns to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse this summer."

Over the summer, the Globe will host activities for all ages, including live storytelling and interactive family workshops for children aged 5-12 and their grown-ups, a spooky Macbeth, and a magical A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Alongside the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production of The Tempest, workshops on the play will run for 12-15-year-olds, and family workshops for 9-12-year-olds and their grown-ups will also be available. Workshops include practical drama activities and games.

Over the Summer holidays, young people can take part in Young Actors Short Courses. Participants aged 8-10, 11-13, 14-16 and 17-19 will spend the week working with Globe Practitioners in this interactive course designed especially for aspiring actors. Including a tour of the theatre and culminating in a small sharing of work for family, carers and friends, these courses are designed to bring Shakespeare to life. Young academics aged 17-19 can spend five days working with leading academics and actors on in-depth textual analysis of Shakespeare's plays from 21 - 25 August, perfect for students preparing to study English Literature.

Families can also experience the Globe and its history through the Family Globe Theatre Tour, and Family Sword Fighting Demonstration with the Globe Fight Team, introducing Early Modern Stage combat and historical sword fighting.

Research Events

Professor Farah Karim-Cooper, Co-Director of Education, says: "This year we continue our research enquiries into the plays and theatres of Shakespeare's time. We are thrilled to be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare's First Folio with the extraordinary Professor Emma Smith who is this year's Sam Wanamaker Fellow. We'll be welcoming Play On Shakespeare into our Research-In-Action series as part of our ongoing experiments in making the plays as accessible as possible in our theatres. And our popular Anti-Racist Webinars sponsored by Cambridge University Press will bring the Globe season into focus as scholars and artists explore the relationship the plays have to race and identity."

To mark the 400th anniversary of the first printed edition of the First Folio, this year's Sam Wanamaker Fellow, Professor Emma Smith (University of Oxford), explores the cultural and societal value in the saving and publishing of Shakespeare's works for future generations in a special Folio 400 lecture. Combining research, analysis and insightful humour, this talk will consolidate understanding for audiences, students, and academics both new to and with enduring passion for Shakespeare. The lecture will take place in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on 23 April, Shakespeare's birthday.

Free Anti-Racist Shakespeare webinars continue in summer 2023. Sponsored by Cambridge University Press, these online events enable live discussion between scholars and theatre artists exploring Summer Season plays The Comedy of Errors (1 June), Macbeth (17 August) and As You Like It (14 September).

Research in Action returns with two interactive events bringing audiences into the Globe's exploration of early modern and contemporary performance culture. In Framing the Play on 17 April, Globe actors and leading academics including Dr Eoin Price (Swansea University), will lead an interactive and insightful exploration of how playbills, prologues and performance paraphernalia affect an audience's reception of plays. On 12 July, 'Play On Shakespeare', will look at the relevance and resonances between Shakespeare's plays and their contemporary interpretations. In partnership with major translation project 'Play On Shakespeare', launched by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, professional actors and writers will share scenes and speeches from Shakespeare's works in modern translation.

Guided Tours

Brand-new walking tours will kick off in 2023 with a Printers and Playscripts Walking Tour celebrating the 400th anniversary of the First Folio. Explore the Bankside area and venture across the River Thames into the historic heart of printing in London around St Paul's with expert Guides, and discover the colourful history of printing in Britain, including the world of banned books and bad quartos.

Guided tours focussed on each of the summer season productions perfectly accompany a trip to The Globe Theatre. Discover why Macbeth is said to be 'cursed', why fairies were perceived as menacing in A Midsummer Night's Dream, how Shakespeare experimented with farce in The Comedy of Errors, and why 'All the world's a stage' in As You Like It. These new tours run alongside the ever-popular Family Globe Theatre Tour, Pride Guided Tour, Ghosts and Ghouls Family Tour and Shakespeare's True Crimes Walking Tour. An enhanced tour introduction will open in Spring 2023.