Shakespeare’s Globe Announce Summer 2015 Season

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The rain is trickling down the window, the street outside is covered in yellow and brown leaves and a lasagne is cooking in the oven. We’re definitely in a wintery mood here, but thoughts of summer aren’t too far off as our friends at Shakespeare’s Globe have announced their summer season for 2015!

This season will mark Dominic Dromgoole’s farewell as Artistic Director and it’s a cracking theme to end on as the Globe explore Justice and Mercy. The season will probe the strengths and weaknesses of the law as well as the moral issues affecting family, duty, religion and other themes. Here’s the full rundown of what will be playing throughout the spring and summer.

In celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal & Derngate theatre will present a touring production of King John, playing at the Globe from 1 to 28 June. Directed by James Dacre, this ambitious new production will see a large company of actors and musicians explore a tangled world of ruthless politicking and fatal power struggles. The production will also visit the Holy Sepulchre Church (a frequent haunt of King John and his court) in Northampton, and Temple Church, the church of Inner and Middle Temple in London.

The 2015 summer season at the Globe opens on 23 April with The Merchant of Venice, directed by Jonathan Munby. Jonathan returns to the Globe following his critically-acclaimed production of Antony & Cleopatra starring Eve Best this summer. His other recent credits include Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC), A Human Being Died That Night (Hampstead Studio) and Life Is A Dream (Donmar Warehouse).

From 15 May, Blanche McIntyre directs Shakespeare’s lyrical comedy As You Like It, having made a formidable Globe debut this summer with her uproarious take on The Comedy of Errors. Blanche recently revived her production of Accolade at the St James Theatre – her 2011 version for the Finborough won her rave reviews and the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Newcomer. Her other directing credits include The Birthday Party (Royal Exchange, Manchester), The Seagull (Headlong), and Ciphers (Out of Joint/Bush Theatre). She has also written the script for the forthcoming feature film Hippopotamus, based on the novel by Stephen Fry.

Dominic Dromgoole’s new production of Measure for Measure opens on 20 June. Dominic was appointed Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe in 2006; prior to this he was Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre, Director of New Writing at the Old Vic and Artistic Director of the Oxford Stage Company (now Headlong). His recent productions for Shakespeare’s Globe include Julius Caesar, The Duchess of Malfi with Gemma Arterton and Samuel Adamson’s smash hit Gabriel.

Evening Standard Award-winning director Simon Godwin will direct Richard II from 11 July. Next year Simon is directing Ralph Fiennes in Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman at the National Theatre, where he also recently directed Strange Interlude, starring Anne-Marie Duff. He is an Associate Director at the Royal Court, where his work includes Anya Reiss’s The Acid Test, Lucy Kirkwood’s NSFW and Nick Payne’s Wanderlust.

The summer’s new writing begins on 21 July with The Heresy of LoveHelen Edmundson’s critically-acclaimed telling of the life of seventeenth-century Mexican nun and playwright Juana Inés de la Cruz, which premiered at the RSC in 2012. Helen’s adaptation of Coram Boy for the National Theatre won her huge popular acclaim and a Time Out Award. Her adaptation of Emile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin opens at New York’s Roundabout Theatre with Keira Knightley in the title role next October. Her other credits include Mary Shelley (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Mill on the Floss (Shared Experience) and Mother Teresa is Dead (Royal Court).

From 29 August, Adele Thomas will direct a contemporary distillation of all three plays from Aeschylus’s Oresteia, one of the great cornerstones of Western drama. Documenting the bitter cycle of violent retribution that afflicts the House of Atreus as a consequence of Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia, the Oresteia dramatises the shift away from the ‘natural law’ of the individual blood vendetta and towards a self-governing polis founded on principles of fair trial and punishment.

The final show of the 2015 summer season sees the return of Jessica Swale with her new play Nell Gwynn. Having delighted audiences with Thomas Tallis this year and Blue Stockings in 2013, Jessica returns to the Globe with this rambunctious and vibrant take on life in London theatre during the Restoration. This new play charts the rise and rise of brilliant wit and charmer Nell Gwynn – from lowly satsuma-seller in the pit, to leading actress on the stage, to King’s escort in the Royal Box.

Continuing its commitment to international Shakespeare and following a hugely successful tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to China this autumn, the Globe will be bringing two Chinese shows to London this summer. On 20 July, the National Theatre of China will once again present their Richard III in Mandarin (with scene synopses in English), having delighted audiences in 2012 with this production of Shakespeare’s ghoulish horrorshow of power and paranoia. On 17 August, Hong Kong’s Tang Shu-wing Theatre Studio will perform Macbeth in Cantonese (with scene synopses in English). Described as the ‘alchemist of minimalist theatre’, the Tang Shu-wing company works with pared-back staging, voice and movement to release the energies of classic texts.

Shakespeare’s Globe has been touring nationally and internationally since 2007, recreating the fleet-of-foot style of Renaissance touring theatre for the 21st century. Next spring and summer, two small-scale touring productions will travel across the UK and further afield. From 28 April, a fresh new production of Romeo & Juliet will embark on its journey around the UK and across the Atlantic. From 10 August, Max Webster’s much-loved production of Much Ado About Nothing will return for another tour of the UK and Europe.

Finally, the unprecedented Globe to Globe Hamlet tour continues its journey to every country on earth next year. Currently in Latin America, the company will head to Africa in January 2015, travelling across the continent from Angola to Zimbabwe. They will then take the galvanising wit and wisdom of this most universal and timeless of plays across Asia and Australasia.

Matt

Matt has been writing on all manner of subjects for over 15 years. He has written for a number of music magazines, made appearances on BBC Introducing and regularly contributed to local newspapers. These days he mostly writes about rugby and is passionate about providing insight into women's rugby! He also writes on theatre and regularly reviews shows across the south.

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