Kings and Rogues in Globe’s 2010 season

Reporter: Matthew Amer, first published Mon 30 Nov 2009 12:34
Shakespeare's Globe, Bankside (Photo: Visit Britain)/servlet/file/store5/item101705/version1/fileservice770/101705_770_preview.jpg

Shakespeare’s Globe’s 2010 season promises a summer of royalty and rapscallions as it brings together Henry VIII, Henry IV Part I and Part II, Macbeth and The Merry Wives Of Windsor.

The season, entitled Kings And Rogues, will run from 23 April to 3 October. It also includes new pieces Anne Boleyn, by Howard Brenton, and Nell Leyshon’s Bedlam.

While Henry VIII follows the story of the notorious king’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, Brenton’s new play explores the marriage from the queen’s point of view. The staging of Anne Boleyn sees Brenton’s work return to Shakespeare’s Globe for the first time since the success of In Extremis in 2006 and 2007. It will be directed by John Dove, who previously directed The Winter’s Tale on the Globe’s stage in 2005.

Complementing Macbeth, in which the ambitious soldier’s wife is turned mad with guilt, Bedlam is a fictional portrayal of a London hospital for the insane, based on the Bethlem Royal Hospital. Its staging marks the first time that Shakespeare’s Globe has staged a piece by a female playwright, the honour going to Leyshon, who won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright Award for Comfort Me With Apples.

In addition to its London performances, Shakespeare’s Globe will continue to tour the successful 2009 performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy Of Errors, which were seen by around 35,000 people across the UK and Europe this year.

Speaking about the new season, Dominic Dromgoole, the Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, commented: “Our building continues to embrace the most democratic audience in the world – all of us a rogue and a king in our own way – much like William Shakespeare. The 2010 theatre season offers a flavour of some of his wild, warm, violent and virtuous kings and rogues, plus new creations from two of our most rousing, contemporary playwrights. We are proud to continue our national and international touring, reaching out to new audiences for the Globe.”

The announcement follows the iconic venue’s successful 2009 Young Hearts season, which saw more than 345,000 theatregoers enjoy a performance at the open air venue, 40% of them paying just £5 for a standing groundling ticket.

Public booking for the Kings And Rogues season opens on 15 February 2010.