Multi-award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce will play Shylock in Jonathan Munby's production of The Merchant of Venice. opening the Shakespeare's Globe 2015 summer season on April 23. Oliver Award-winning actress Michelle Terry will play Rosalind in Blanche McIntyre's As You Like It, opening May 15.
This will be Dominic Dromgoole's final summer season as artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe, and he's constructing the program around the theme "Justice and Mercy." The season will probe the strengths and weaknesses of judicial law and the various tugs-of-war among family, state, religion, love, sex, and duty that have defined human morality for centuries.
The summer season will feature two other William Shakespeare plays in addition to The Merchant of Venice and As You Like It. Simon Godwin will direct Richard II, and Dromgoole will finish up by directing Measure for Measure.
In celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, Shakespeare's Globe and the Royal & Derngate theater will present a touring production of King John. Playing at the Globe in June, 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. 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.
Additionally, the Globe will host two Chinese shows, Richard III in Mandarin and Macbeth in Cantonese, and stage three new plays: The Heresy of Love by Helen Edmundson, Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale, and a contemporary adaptation of the Oresteia.
Jonathan Pryce, CBE, won a Tony for his work in Comedians on Broadway (which also played in London), an Olivier award for his Hamlet in London, and won both awards on each side of the Atlantic for his work in Miss Saigon. His film credits include Something Wicked This Way Comes, Brazil, Glengarry Glen Ross, Carrington (for which he won the Cannes Film Festival and Evening Standard Awards for Best Actor), Evita, and Tomorrow Never Dies. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance in Cranford: Return to Cranford, and he will shortly be appearing as Cardinal Wolsey in the television adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall.
Michelle Terry returns to the Globe following her critically acclaimed performance as Titania in Dominic Dromgoole's 2013 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and her 2009 turn in Love's Labour's Lost. Michelle won an Olivier Award in 2011 for her portrayal of Sylvia in Tribes at the Royal Court.
Dromgoole 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 Gabriel.
Continuing its commitment to international Shakespeare and following a 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 July 20, the National Theatre of China will once again present its 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 Aug. 17, 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-down 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 theater for the 21st century. Next spring and summer, two small-scale touring productions will travel across the UK and farther afield. From April 28, a fresh new production of Romeo and Juliet will embark on its journey around the UK and across the Atlantic. From Aug. 10, Max Webster's 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 heads to Africa this month, travelling across the continent from Angola to Zimbabwe. It will then take the galvanizing wit and wisdom of this most universal and timeless of plays across Asia and Australasia.
January 6, 2015