SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE ANNOUNCES 2021/22 WINTER SEASON IN THE SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE
Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, and a reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Fir Tree written by Hannah Khalil
Photo: Johan Perrson
Shakespeare’s Globe has announced its Winter Season for 2021/22 in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. The season will feature Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure directed by Blanche McIntyre, Hamlet directed by Sean Holmes, The Merchant of Venice directed by Abigail Graham, and a festive reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Fir Tree written by Hannah Khalil. Alongside productions in the Playhouse, there will also be two week-long festivals (including the return of Shakespeare and Race) and half-term events for families. The Globe will continue to reach audiences at home and internationally through live-streamed productions of Measure for Measure, Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice.
Michelle Terry, Artistic Director, said: “As we slowly emerge from a period of deep uncertainty, change and challenge, we turn to these plays to ask some of the most profound questions about who we are, why we are, and what on earth can we do about it. In a quest for love, identity, justice or revenge, these plays are full of people making conscious and unconscious choices that determine either their salvation or destruction. This is a season deliberately designed to tackle the big moral questions and complexities with heart, humour and humanity.”
For the very first time, audiences will be able to buy tickets to the main productions in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse for £5, with 48 standing tickets available per show. The Globe’s Summer Season continues until 30 October, and despite restrictions and continued difficulties with the pandemic, has successfully welcomed over 86,000 audience members into 150 performances, with only 2 cancelled to date. Other activities on the Globe site have been popular with over 12,000 people enjoying the guided tours, and over 8,000 students taking part in workshops. The live-streamed productions from the summer season have been enjoyed by nearly 3,000 people tuning in from over 50 countries. On 13 September, the Globe will be welcoming internationally renowned stand-up and Mock The Week presenter Dara Ó Briain to perform his world-class comedy on stage. Dara will be joined by British Comedy Award winning Nina Conti, Athena Kugblenu (BBC Radio 4’s Athena’s Cancel Culture), and Suzi Ruffell (Live at the Apollo).
Opening 19 November, Measure for Measure will be directed by Blanche McIntyre. Remarkably resonant for today, this darkly comic production explores injustice and inequality in a hyper-sexualised, politically polarised society. Blanche McIntyre most recently directed Hymn at the Almeida. Her previous work for the Globe includes Bartholomew Fair (2019), The Winter’s Tale (2018), As You Like It (2015), and Comedy of Errors (2014). Her other theatre credits include The Writer (Almeida), Botticelli in the Fire (Hampstead Theatre), Tartuffe (National Theatre), Titus Andronicus and The Two Noble Kinsmen (RSC), Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse), The Oresteia (HOME, Manchester), The Birthday Party (Royal Exchange Theatre), and The Seagull (Headlong Theatre, Nuffield Southampton Theatres and Derby Theatre – winner of Best Director, UK Theatre Awards, 2013). To accompany the production, a discussion event, ‘In Conversation’ will invite a deeper dialogue into Shakespeare’s world and the sexual politics of Measure for Measure, led by academics, writers, and artists.
Over the Christmas period, the Globe will be celebrating folkloric tradition with an enchanting new family show written by Hannah Khalil, The Fir Tree, based on the original fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Audiences will be welcome to gather with warm drinks to sing and laugh in the ‘Wooden O’, as it quite literally returns to its roots with the story of Christmas told from the perspective of the tree. Palestinian-Irish writer, Hannah Khalil, has most recently had her play Bitterenders streamed live from the Arcola Theatre, directed by Maxine Peak and her family adaptation of Myths and Adventures from Ancient Greece online for Waterman’s Brentford in 2020. Her theatre credits include A Museum in Baghdad (RSC, 2019) directed by Erica Whyman, Interference (The National Theatre of Scotland), The Scar Test (Soho Theatre), and Scenes from 68* Years (Arcola). Scenes from 68* Years was nominated for the James Tait Black award and has subsequently been produced by Golden Thread Theatre in San Francisco and in Tunisia production (supported by British Council Tunisia and AFAC and produced by Alia Al Zougbi). She is a Creative Fellow of the Beckett Archive at the University of Reading for 2021/22.
Opening 21 January 2022, Hamlet will be directed by the Globe’s Associate Artistic Director, Sean Holmes created with The Globe Ensemble (full company to be announced in due course). Performed for the first time in the intimate confines of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, this production will shed candlelight on a country under attack, a family falling apart, a mind in turmoil, and the impact of manipulation in this tale of corruption and disruption. This ensemble will be resident for at least a year, playing in the winter season and then opening Summer 2022 in the Globe. Sean Holmes directed the critically acclaimed productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night for the Globe’s reopening 2021 season. 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.
The Merchant of Venice, the third Shakespeare production of the season opens on the 18 February, directed by Abigail Graham. This production will be a personal and political interrogation of Shylock’s play. Abigail is currently directing Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s new play MUM, premiering at the end of this month at Theatre Royal Plymouth and Soho Theatre. Following The Merchant of Venice, Abigail will be directing the highly anticipated Lyric Hammersmith panto, Aladdin by Vikki Stone. She is currently directing the Lyric Hammersmith Ensemble, and her other theatre credits include The Tyler Sisters (Hampstead) and Death of a Salesman (Royal and Derngate / UK Tour). She was founding Artistic Director of OpenWorks Theatre from 2013 – 2017, an organisation dedicated to changing who goes to the theatre by changing who makes it.
In the Spring, the Globe’s annual Shakespeare and Race Festival returns. It will explore vital questions about race, identity, and oppression through the prism of Shakespeare’s world and words.
Our leading Education department at the Globe will present a wide-ranging programme of courses and activities for all ages and stages to engage with Shakespeare. Including storytelling sessions, workshops, webinars, academic conferences, Continued Professional Development sessions for teachers, and events in dialogue with the productions in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Having been a dynamic support for teachers and students over the past challenging year, Education will offer exciting opportunities for further engagement for those wanting to learn more about Shakespeare’s works in the context of his own time and ours.
Over the October half term, there will be many activities for families to enjoy at the Globe. The Globe’s flagship ‘Telling Tales’ storytelling performances will run 24 – 30 October, offering a sensory interactive adventure for younger audiences. Plays retold for children include The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar. The Globe’s Fight Team will also be offering a demonstration of Early Modern stage combat, where families will learn all about historical sword fighting. The half-term event will allow you to handle a weapon, and even have a photo taken with a sword, although only the professionals will be able to partake in the sword play. Another activity will be ‘Family Dressing Demonstrations’, where you can see how Elizabethan women got dressed and get to try on the clothes of a gentleman courtier.