Shakespeare’s Globe have announced their 2017 summer season, which will be the final season with Emma Rice as Artistic Director.
The Summer of Love season will mark the 50th anniversary of the summer of 1967, opening with Romeo and Juliet, followed by Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn, Twelfth Night, Kneehigh’s Tristan & Yseult, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, and the world premiere of Tristan Bernays’ Boudica.
English National Opera Artistic Directer Daniel Kramer will direct Romeo and Juliet.
From 2 May 2017 the UK tour of Jessica Swale’s Olivier Award-winning Nell Gwynn returns to the Globe. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, Laura Pitt Pulford stars as the eponymous actress and mistress of Charles II.
Rice will direct a new production of Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night which will run from 18 May 2017. “This tale of love and loss begins as Viola is washed up on the coast of Illyria, following a shipwreck in which she believes her twin brother has perished.”
Rice will also direct a revived production of Kneehigh’s Tristan & Yseult from 13 June 2017. “The original tale of forbidden desires, the play examines the love and betrayal between Tristan, King Mark of Cornwall and his wife Yseult.” Written by Carl Grose and Anna Maria Murphy it is adapted by Emma Rice.
Matthew Dunster will direct a new production of Much Ado About Nothing from 14 July 2017. Described as a fresh interpretation, the love stories of Hero and Claudio, and Beatrice and Benedick, are transported to 1910, at the outbreak of the Mexican Civil War.
A new production of King Lear will run from 10 August 2017 directed by Nancy Meckler, the founder and former Artistic Director of renowned theatre company Shared Experience.
The final production in the season will be the world premiere of Tristan Bernays’ new play Boudica, directed by Eleanor Rhode. “Boudica, Queen of the Iceni tribe, wages a bloody uprising against the Roman Empire in this epic tale of power, politics and love.”
It was also announced that Artistic Director Emma Rice will be leaving the Globe following its 2017/18 Winter Season.
In a statement from the Board, they have confirmed that despite excellent reviews, audience outreach and attendance, they will return to their original methods of production: “Following much deliberation and discussion, the Globe Board has concluded that from April 2018, the theatre programming should be structured around ‘shared light’ productions without designed sound and light rigging, which characterised a large body of The Globe’s work prior to Emma’s appointment.”
Rice commented on the news in an official statement: “I have had a wonderful time creatively here at the Globe, but I respect the Board’s decision for its future direction. I look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities of this extraordinary space over the next 18 months, excited to see even more astonishing work unfolding in the glorious wooden ‘O’ as well as the exquisite Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.”