Last Updated on 6th April 2020
Shakespeare’s Globe is preparing to release a raft of digital content during the theatre shutdown, including filmed productions and new work.
From Monday 6 April, six of the London theatre’s productions will be available to watch for free on its video-on-demand service, Globe Player, at globeplayer.tv. They will rotate every two weeks, one at a time.
They will include Hamlet in 2018, Romeo & Juliet in 2009, The Winter’s Tale in 2018, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2013, The Two Noble Kinsmen in 2018 and The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2019. See below for more details.
Under the title of Shakespeare & Love in Isolation, a new series will see artists share some of the playwright’s writings, speaking from their own places of sanctuary. They will include the creative team behind Christmas at the (Snow) Globe, Sandi Toksvig and Jenifer Toksvig, and award-winning actor and director Kathryn Hunter.
The existing online Globe Player will also host all 37 of the “Complete Walk” short films for free. These celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016, with an all-star cast in 10-minute films shot on location in the real setting of each plot.
Also for free will be films of all 34 productions in the Globe to Globe festival of 2012, which brought together artists from all over the world, to enjoy speaking the plays in their own language on the Globe stage.
The podcast, Such Stuff, will broadcast new features, starting today (31 March) with an episode on the cult 1999 film, 10 Things I Hate About You, which was inspired by The Taming of the Shrew.
Host Imogen Greenberg will continue to bring Shakespeare and the Globe’s work to life for listeners with a collection of episodes spanning sonnets from the Love in Isolation project, new writing venture Metamorphoses, and Shakespeare-inspired books and films.
New features will include Shakespeare Diaries with the Globe’s artistic director Michelle Terry and her husband, Paul Ready. The two actors will discuss some of their favourite plays and why art, theatre and Shakespeare remain important in times of global crisis.
The podcasts will also feature exclusive interviews with the Globe’s Scriptorium writers – Sami Ibrahim, Laura Lomas, and Sabrina Mahfouz – on writing in isolation.
In line with the theatre’s commitment to access in live performance, all Globe Player productions are captioned. The podcast, Such Stuff, will also be accessible to visually impaired people, and all episodes are transcribed.
For students studying Shakespeare at home, the Globe’s Learning team has developed a wealth of activities including Teach Shakespeare, helping to support parents who are home-schooling. Other activities online such as The Globe Playground are suitable for younger children, and Staging It!, for budding directors, allows users to direct scenes online.
For universities, the Globe’s Higher Education and Research team are creating and providing online content in the form of lectures, workshops and resources to support students learning at home. The Globe and King’s College London’s joint MA is newly being taught online, with students being recruited for the next academic year. A collaborative doctoral student with King’s College will be joining the Globe later this year.
The Globe is also still endeavouring to find a way to host the popular Shakespeare Walks with actor and director Mark Rylance in celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday on 23 April.
Quoting a line from Troilus and Cressida, Michelle Terry said: “’One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.’ Nature has certainly touched all of our lives in recent months. Whilst everything seems so uncertain, one thing we know for sure is that the world will never be the same again.
“In 1599, when Hamlet stood on a ‘distracted Globe’ and uttered the words, ‘Now I am alone’, he would have been surrounded by up to 3,000 people. Now we are alone, but we are also in the company of billions, from all around the globe, finding the most inspiring ways to be alone, together. In these times of isolation, we will continue to reach people on our ‘distracted Globe’, providing community, joy, and wonder, remaining, albeit digitally for now, a place of connection for us all.”
Patrick Spottiswoode, director of Globe Education, added: “Since we opened in 1997, we have explored ways of sharing the wonder of the Globe with people who may not be able to visit the theatre for themselves. Our online activities, classes and research materials will help in some way to keep our Globe doors open for all, whether primary children, post-graduates, or pensioners.
“Our theatre closed during the run of the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production Macbeth, with over 33,000 students having watched the production, but sadly a further 15,000 missing out. I am so proud that the educational activities of the Globe can adapt online to keep providing the best access to our excellent provisions until we can open the doors again.”
The six productions due to go online will include Hamlet from 2018, directed by Federay Holmes and Elle While. The cast featured Michelle Terry as Hamlet plus Catrin Aaron, James Garnon, Colin Hurley, Bettrys Jones, Richard Katz, Jack Laskey, Nadia Nadarajah, Pearce Quigley, Shubham Saraf and Helen Schlesinger.
Romeo & Juliet in 2009 was directed by Dominic Dromgoole with Adetomiwa Edun and Ellie Kendrick in the title roles. The rest of the ensemble included Holly Atkins, Philip Cumbus, Jack Farthing, James Lailey, Penny Layden, Fergal McElherron, Michael O’Hagan, Rawiri Paratene, Ukweli Roach, Ian Redford, Tom Stuart, Graham Vick, Andrew Vincent and Miranda Foster.
The Winter’s Tale in 2018 was directed by Blanche McIntyre with an ensemble including Annette Badland, Zora Bishop, Adrian Bower, Priyanga Burford, Becci Gemmell, Norah Lopez Holden, Will Keen, Luke MacGregor, Jordan Metcalfe, Oliver Ryan, Sirine Saba, Howard Ward and Rose Wardlaw.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2013 was directed by Dominic Dromgoole with an ensemble including Fergal McElherron, Michelle Terry, Pearce Quigley, Huss Garbiya, Tom Lawrence, John Light, Sarah MacRae, Edward Peel, Olivia Ross, Joshua Silver, Luke Thompson, Tala Gouveia, Christopher Logan, Molly Logan, Stephanie Racine and Matthew Tennyson.
The Two Noble Kinsmen in 2018 was directed by Barrie Rutter with an ensemble featuring Jos Vantyler. Jude Akuwudike, Moyo Akandé, Andy Cryer, Sue Devaney, Bryan Dick, Matt Henry, Melissa James, Francesca Mills, Kat Rose-Martin, Paul Stocker, Ellora Torchia and Jon Trenchard.
The Merry Wives of Windsor in 2019 was directed by Elle While, with an ensemble including Hedydd Dylan, Sarah Finigan, Bryony Hannah, Richard Katz, Joshua Lacey, Forbes Masson, Anne Odeke, Jude Owusu, Pearce Quigley, Anita Reynolds, Boadicea Ricketts, Dickon Tyrrell and Zach Wyatt.
- Hamlet (2018): Streaming from Monday 6 April, 7pm. Available until Sunday 19 April
- Romeo & Juliet (2019): Streaming from Monday 20 April, 7pm. Available until Sunday 3 May
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013): Streaming from Monday 4 May, 7pm. Available until Sunday 17 May
- The Two Noble Kinsmen (2018): Streaming from Monday 18 May, 7pm. Available until Sunday 31 May
- The Winter’s Tale (2018): Streaming from Monday 1 June, 7pm. Available until Sunday 14 June
- The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019): Streaming from Monday 15 June, 7pm. Available until Sunday 28 June