RICHARD III, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, and More Set For Shakespeare's Globe Summer 2024 Season

The season runs from April – October 2024.

By: Jan. 23, 2024
RICHARD III, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, and More Set For Shakespeare's Globe Summer 2024 Season
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Shakespeare’s Globe has announced its Summer Season, running from April – October 2024. Learn more about the full season below!

  • Associate Artistic Director Sean Holmes directs Much Ado About Nothing, Ekow Quartey and Amalia Vitale star as Benedick and Beatrice, opening the season on 25 April. 
  • Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Michelle Terry plays the title role in Richard III, directed by Elle While, running from 9 May. 
  • Jude Christian makes her Globe Theatre directorial debut with The Taming of the Shrew, running from 6 June. 
  • Blanche McIntyre returns to direct Antony and Cleopatra, starring Nadia Nadarajah as Cleopatra, running from 4 August. 
  • Sean Holmes’ 2023 hit The Comedy of Errors will return to the Globe from 21 August, before going on tour. 
  • Robin Belfield directs new play Princess Essex, written by and starring Anne Odeke, running from 13 September. 
  • New family show Rough Magic from the Olivier-nominated team behind Midsummer Mechanicals runs in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from 20 July. 
  • Flagship project for secondary schools, Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank Romeo & Juliet returns, directed by Globe Director of Education Lucy Cuthbertson, running from 19 March. 
  • Globe and World Health Organisation team up, and book launch to be held at Globe for ‘Decolonising the Theatre Space: A Conversation’ featuring over 20 interviews with pioneering Black cultural leaders.


 

Michelle Terry, Artistic Director, says: “As a society, we’re only as free and healthy as the stories we tell about ourselves: “to hold as ‘twere the mirror up to nature”. The best stories provide an opportunity for us to engage with the biggest issues, ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Why do some stories inspire us to action and endure, and why do some hold little weight with us at all? Where, as human beings, are we afforded a safe space for exploration, experimentation, reflection, and conversation. A space to at least question the issues, ideas, thoughts, and feelings that have the power to change our lives for good or for bad? 

“Theatres should be that space. With Shakespeare and the Globe, we hope to provide an opportunity for all people to engage and participate in stories, told carefully, kindly, boldly, and bravely, with rigour, heart, and beautiful imperfection infused with a life affirming desire to question what it means to be human and hopefully inspire us all to engage in the conversation.”

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing runs from 25 April – 24 August, directed by Associate Artistic Director Sean Holmes (The Comedy of Errors, Globe). Ekow Quartey and Amalia Vitale will star as Benedick and Beatrice in an Elizabeth-dress production which will transform The Globe Theatre into a luxurious paradise. The ensemble includes Calum Callaghan, John Lightbody, and Adam Wadsworth. Young lovers Claudio and Hero, and sparring singletons Beatrice and Benedick, become entangled in a series of mischievous pranks and plots in Shakespeare’s timeless comedy that celebrates love in all its forms. Sean’s previous work for the Globe includes The Comedy of Errors (2023), The Winter’s Tale (2023), The Tempest (2022), Twelfth Night (2021), Hamlet (2021) Metamorphoses (2021), Henry VI (2020), Richard III (2020), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2019). Sean has also recently co-directed Cowbois with Charlie Josephine (I, Joan). Prior to the Globe, Sean was the Artistic Director of the Lyric Hammersmith. Much Ado About Nothing will be designed by Grace Smart, with Grant Olding as Composer, 2023 Globe Resident Associate Director Naeem Hayat as Associate Director, and Tamsin Hurtado Clarke as Movement Director. 

Richard III

Richard III runs from 9 May – 3 August. Artistic Director Michelle Terry once again teams up with director Elle While (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2023) to play the eponymous anti-hero as they explore the enduring allure and charisma of evil. At Shakespeare’s Globe, Michelle Terry has played Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2023), 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 of Shakespeare's Globe. Elle’s previous work for the Globe includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2023), The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019), Hamlet and As You Like It (2018). Her other credits include Driftwood, One of Them Ones and Idyll (Pentabus); Twelfth Night and 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). Richard III will be designed by E. Mallin Parry, with Head of Music at Shakespeare’s Globe James Maloney as Composer, and 2023 Globe Resident Associate Director Indiana Lown-Collins as Associate Director.

The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew runs from 6 June – 26 October, directed by Jude Christian making her Globe Theatre debut. Jude most recently directed Titus Andronicus in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2023. Transforming the Globe into an absurd carnival this summer, Shakespeare’s vicious comedy The Taming of the Shrew will be designed by Rosie Elnile, with Corin Buckeridge as Composer. Jude’s previous Globe credits include Dark Night of the Soul, and Nanjing. Recent directing credits include world premieres As You Write It (Shakespeare North Playhouse), Violet (Britten Pears), Pleasure Seekers (Soho Theatre), The Wellspring (Royal and Derngate), Ten Thousand Heartbeats (Tamasha), My Mum’s A Twat; Bodies; Lela & Co. (Royal Court), Parliament Square (Royal Exchange/Bush) and UK premieres Trust and I’d Rather Goya Robbed Me Of My Sleep Than Some Other Arsehole (Gate Theatre). Adaptations include Peter Pan (Brageteatret) and othellomacbeth (Lyric Hammersmith/HOME). Writing credits include Dick Whittington, Cinderella, and Jack and The Beanstalk (Lyric Hammersmith).

Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra runs from 4 August – 29 September, directed by Blanche McIntyre (Twelfth Night: For One Night Only, Measure for Measure, Globe). A ground-breaking bilingual production of Antony and Cleopatra using Spoken English and British Sign Language will be presented in The Globe Theatre, starring Nadia Nadarajah (As You Like It, and Hamlet 2018/19 and with Deafinitely at the Globe Love’s Labour’s Lost; Midnight Movie, Royal Court) as Cleopatra. The ensemble includes William Grint and Nadeem Islam, in Shakespeare’s epic story of love, duty, and power. Blanche’s previous work for the Globe includes Twelfth Night: For One Night Only (2023), Measure for Measure (2021), Bartholomew Fair (2019), The Winter’s Tale (2018), As You Like It (2015) and The Comedy of Errors (2014). The creative team also includes Charlotte Arrowsmith as Associate Director, and Daryl Jackson as BSL Consultant.

The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors runs from 21 August – 27 October. The Summer 2023 hit returns, bringing with it the joy and chaos of Elizabethan London, transforming The Globe Theatre into a bustling dock – complete with ship masts and piers. Shakespeare’s wild comedy about rival cities, long-lost siblings and mistaken identities will be co-directed by Sean Holmes and Naeem Hayat (Burnt at the Stake, Globe). The Comedy of Errors is designed by Paul Wills, with Grant Olding as Composer.

Princess Essex

Princess Essex runs from 13 September – 26 October. Bringing the summer to a close will be a fast-paced, music-filled new play Princess Essex, written by and starring Anne Odeke, directed by Robin Belfield. It’s Southend-on-Sea, Essex, in 1908: Princess Dinubolu of Senegal enters a beauty contest at the iconic Kursaal, Europe’s biggest entertainment complex. This empowering comedy is based on the incredible true story Princess Dinubolu, the first woman of colour to enter a beauty pageant in the UK. Writer and performer Anne Odeke (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Globe) brings Edwardian seaside pageantry to Bankside with her Globe playwriting debut and will also play the title role. Robin Belfield (Twelfth Night, RSC) makes his Globe debut, directing this inspiring story of bravery, beauty and belonging. Princess Essex will be designed by Hayley Grindle, with Simon Slater as Composer, Ingrid Mackinnon as Movement Director, and Sarah Dickenson as Dramaturg.


The above productions are cast by Becky Paris, Head of Casting.

Rough Magic

Rough Magic runs from 20 July – 24 August in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Re-uniting the Olivier Award-nominated team behind Midsummer Mechanicals, Shakespeare’s Globe and Splendid Productions present a supernaturally silly adventure featuring the Weird Sisters of Macbeth. Globe Director of Education Lucy Cuthbertson co-directs with Splendid Productions’ Kerry Frampton, in a brand-new family show written by Kerry Frampton and Ben Hales.

These join our flagship project for secondary schools, Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank, which returns with Romeo and Juliet: a gripping 90-minute production set in the present day created especially for young people and designed to support the curriculum. Public performances from 19 March until 13 April run alongside the previously announced schools’ project, supported by Deutsche Bank, as part of their global youth engagement programme ‘Born to Be’. There are over 26,000 free tickets for pupils aged 11-16 at London and Birmingham state schools, with subsidised tickets for schools nationwide and a range of accessible performances including Integrated BSL. The production will be directed by Director of Education, Lucy Cuthbertson, Director of Olivier award-nominated Midsummer Mechanicals (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, 2022).

OTHER EVENTS AND CONVERSATIONS

In 2024, the Globe continues its conversations with artists and scholars looking at the plays and the productions through the prism of social justice. The panels and conversations will include Professor Farah Karim-Cooper and Michelle Terry exploring tyranny and Richard III, Stella Kanu (CEO) and Tina Gharavi (BAFTA-nominated, award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter and the director of Netflix Queen Cleopatra) on Antony and Cleopatra, and Jude Christian will be in conversation with Christopher Bailey on The Taming of the Shrew. Christopher is the Arts and Health Lead at the World Health Organisation. He co-founded the ‘Jameel Arts and Health Lab’ which is looking at the evidence base for the health benefits of the arts. This year will launch a new relationship between Shakespeare’s Globe and the World Health Organisation, exploring and enlivening the understanding of the benefit of the arts on our physical, mental, and social wellbeing. 

On 23 February, the Globe will host the book launch for ‘Decolonising the Theatre Space: A Conversation’ Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Kwame Kwei-Armah, and Olivia Poglio-Nwabali (Volume Editors). The book includes over 20 interviews with some of the most pioneering Black cultural leaders from a wide range of senior executive positions in the arts within the UK, Europe, US and Africa. The event will include a conversation between Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway and Globe CEO and book contributor Stella Kanu. Other speakers to be announced. 

Further details on these events and more will be released soon.

ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Lucy Cuthbertson, Director of Education, says: “We are very excited to announce our student and family offering for Summer 2024 with a mix of theatre productions, storytellings, study boost activities and workshops. Experiencing a production live is an invaluable boost to curriculum study of the plays. Our flagship Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production allows just that opportunity for over 26,000 secondary students on free tickets through March when they come to see Romeo and Juliet. We are fully in support of the campaign #TheatreForEveryChild and proud to be giving so many students that experience for the 18th year. At Shakespeare’s Globe, you can find a huge range of family drama activities every school holiday, plus, from the Oliver nominated team who brought you Midsummer Mechanicals, a brand-new production for the summer, Rough Magic. Expect fun, spookiness and terrible magic tricks with the weird sisters reflecting on mistakes made in the Macbeth project and looking to the future.”

Shakespeare’s Globe offers a full programme of school holiday events for all ages. Live Storytelling and interactive Family Workshops for children aged 5-12 and their grown-ups include The Tempest, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Interactive workshops for both Othello (14+) and Macbeth (12+) will also take place onstage in The Globe Theatre

For young people studying plays, Workshops and Study Boosts on curriculum texts include Macbeth (12+ and GCSE), Romeo and Juliet (GCSE), as well as The Merchant of Venice (GCSE) and our Summer Season productions: Much Ado About Nothing (GCSE), Richard III (A Level), The Taming of the Shrew (A Level), and Antony and Cleopatra (A Level).

Young people can also 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 on stage 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, perfect for students preparing to study English Literature.

Beginning in January 2024, families can also experience the Globe and its history through Dressing Demonstrations, and Family Sword Fighting Demonstration with the Globe Fight Team. The Ghosts and Ghouls Family Tour will return from April, and the ever-popular Festive Family Tour will run throughout December.

HIGHER EDUCATION & RESEARCH

Professor Farah Karim-Cooper, Director of Education & Research, says: “Higher Education and Research at the Globe are busier than ever – and we are particularly excited to see the publication this year of our own Head of Research Will Tosh’s new book ‘Straight Acting: The Many Queer Lives of William Shakespeare’. In our exploratory sessions dubbed ‘Read not Dead’ we are examining early modern plays which may indeed need to be ‘dead not read’ – however, our aim at Shakespeare’s Globe is to ensure there is always space to learn and gain understanding of the playwriting landscape of Shakespeare’s time – what better way to do it than via these forgotten cultural snapshots of a time in our history. Combined with Study Days complementing the theatre season, Research in Action, and much more, we are proud to say you can come and visit the Globe to really get under the skin of the extraordinary plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.”

Research in Action at the Globe gives audiences a chance to be part of world-leading exploration of early modern and contemporary performance culture and collaborate with academics, educators, and artists. On 14 May, ‘Research in Action: Shakespeare and Consent’, led by Dr Hailey Bachrach (University of Roehampton), looks at the moments Shakespeare builds dramatic power from staging the act of consent – or its absence – and invites us to explore our own responses to the challenging ethics of early modern drama. On 12 June, ‘Research in Action: Staging Mass in Early Modern Drama’, explores the presence of catholic ritual in Shakespearean drama. Led by Dr Gašper Jakovac (University College London), the evening promises to uncover the secrets of a Catholic play that has lain unperformed for centuries. On 11 July, ‘Research in Action: Marlowe in Repertory’ puts the plays of Christopher Marlowe back into the middle of the bustling theatre scene he knew so well. Presented in association with the Marlowe Society of America with Professor Lucy Munro (King’s College London). On 12 September, ‘Research in Action: A Game at Chess at 400’, will mark the quatercentenary of Thomas Middleton’s early modern thriller A Game at Chess. Premiering in The Globe Theatre in 1624, Middleton’s historical satire dazzled audiences with its imaginative staging and sharp political rhetoric. So why then was it shut down after record-breaking nine performances, and the theatre threatened with closure? Dr José A. Pérez Díez (University of Leeds) will uncover the fascinating story of Middleton’s last ever full play and celebrate its 400th anniversary.

Since 1995, ‘Read Not Dead’ has staged readings of over two hundred neglected early modern plays. Today, we invite artists and theatre-makers to enter into conversation with the long-forgotten stories that formed Shakespeare’s cultural backdrop. On 15 May, ‘Read Not Dead Reimagined: The English Moor’ will turn a critical eye to Richard Brome’s problematic play. While Brome’s piece hasn’t been staged since the 1640s, it has served as a consistent subject of scholarly study due to its extremely challenging and provocative engagement with race, disability, and gender. To a modern sensibility, it is unstageable as a full performance, but in this event will be interrogated, investigated, and explored. Director Steven Kavuma (Co-Founder, Diversity School Initiative), Dramaturg Zoë Svendsen (Macbeth, 2023) and a company of actors will ask: what do we stand to learn about the culture and values of the early modern world by confronting – rather than ignoring – Brome’s work.

On 9 July, Shakespeare's Many Queer Lives will illuminate an untold aspect of Shakespeare’s world with a panel discussion, led by Globe Head of Research Dr Will Tosh. What does Twelfth Night’s Antonio mean to Sebastian? Why does Emilia in The Two Noble Kinsmen scorn love between ‘sex dividual’? And what are we to make of the throuple that closes The Merchant of Venice? From the queer cultures of early modern England to contemporary re-imaginings of his work, this in-conversation event shines a light on the many ways in which Shakespeare’s plays allow us a better understanding of the queerness of his lifetime and myriad lenses through which we can explore our own identities today. Will is joined by Professor Emma Smith (Hertford College, Oxford), with more guests to be announced soon.

This event is in support of Will’s new book ‘Straight Acting: The Many Queer Lives of William Shakespeare’, published by Sceptre in June 2024.

Providing an all-round exploration and invigorating new understanding of Shakespeare’s works, Study Days at the Globe are a deep dive into some of the plays in the upcoming season, and each day concludes with lively discussions with members of the company of the current production. On 7 September, ‘Antony and Cleopatra: Study Day’ will explore the play’s characters, its representation of race, empire, and female leadership, and consider its original cultural context and performance history. On 3 August, ‘Richard III: Study Day’ will delve into Shakespeare’s account of history’s defining narcissist, and explore the play’s characters, its depiction of tyranny and propaganda, and its portrayal of and relationship with history and its original cultural context. On 26 June, ‘The Taming of the Shrew: Study Day’ will investigate Shakespeare’s challenging early comedy, exploring the play’s characters, its provocative portrayal of gender, sexism, and misogyny, to learn about its original cultural context and performance history and understand how critical responses to it have evolved over time. On 18 May, ‘Much Ado About Nothing: Study Day’ re-discovers Shakespeare’s battle of wits and wooing, the play’s characters and its depictions of society and gender, learn about its historical and cultural context, and understand how Shakespeare’s enduring comedy has been brought to life on stage. 

 


 




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