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Che Walker, Dominic Dromgoole, Jessica Swale and Alison Balsom at Shakespeare’s Globe

Che Walker, Dominic Dromgoole, Jessica Swale and Alison Balsom at Shakespeare's Globe

Allam returns for Season Of Plenty

Published 7 February 2013

Olivier Award-winning actor Roger Allam will return to Shakespeare’s Globe this summer to open the 2013 season starring as Prospero in The Tempest alongside Merlin’s Colin Morgan.

Jeremy Herrin’s production of Shakespeare’s magical drama joins a star-studded line-up of 15 plays in the alfresco theatre’s season entitled Season Of Plenty, which includes appearances from Olivier Award-winning actress Michelle Terry, Globe regular Eve Best making her directorial debut, three world premieres and the return of three productions from last year’s ground-breaking Globe To Globe season.

Joining Globe newcomer Morgan and veteran theatre star Allam, who returns to the venue following his award-winning performance in 2010’s Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, in The Tempest is I’d Do Anything contestant Jessie Buckley, who has since appeared in A Little Night Music at the Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End, and graduated from RADA where, according to the Globe’s Artistic Director, Dominic Dromgoole, she has become “a rather wonderful classical actress”.

The production will play from 23 April to 18 August in rep with Macbeth (22 June to 13 October) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (24 May to 12 October), which continue the season’s supernatural theme.

Best, who, Dromgoole said, “knows the Globe inside out and upside down and back to front” having played Lady Macbeth and Much Ado’s Beatrice at the venue, will turn her hand to directing Rocket To The Moon star Joseph Millson in the title role of Shakespeare’s gory tale of a man obsessed by power, Macbeth, while Dromgoole will direct Terry, “who tore the house up here in Love’s Labour’s Lost”, as Queen of the fairies Titania in the romantic A Midsummer Night’s Dream following her recent performance in In The Republic Of Happiness at the Royal Court theatre and next month’s Before The Party at the Almeida theatre.

Carrying on the venue’s reputation for presenting new writing, the Globe will premiere new musical Gabriel (13 July to 18 August), which will unite Classic BRIT Award-winning trumpet soloist Alison Balsom with Australian playwright Samuel Adamson and Dromgoole, who directed the writer’s debut play Clocks And Whistles in 1996.

The musical, which showcases Balsom’s incredible talent in a venue she describes as an “ideal acoustic for the trumpet”, will feature classical works by Purcell and Handel performed by The English Concert and brings to life real and imagined characters, including Mary II and Queen Anne, as well as composers, patrons and musicians of a vibrant and musical 17th century London.

Director Jessica Swale will turn playwright to present her debut play Blue Stockings from 24 August to 11 October. Telling the eye-opening story of the first female students at Cambridge University, the production will be directed by John Dove with casting yet to be announced.

Concluding the trio of premieres is The Lightning Child (14 September to 12 October), a new anarchic take on Euripides’ The Bacchae, which reunites the creative team behind previous Globe hit The Frontline; playwright Ché Walker, director Matthew Dunster and Doctor Who actor Arthur Darvill, who will provide the songs.

Talking at the press launch today, Walker said of the iconic venue: “It’s the most democratic space in London. There’s a lot of hot air about getting diverse audiences into theatres, getting younger audiences into theatre. The Globe’s been doing it for over 10 years. It’s the most radical, forward-thinking space in the country and I am so grateful and deeply honoured to be back here.”

The jam-packed season will also squeeze in five touring productions, which will play in London as part of UK and international tours. As well as Joe Murphy’s new all-female production of The Taming Of The Shrew and Bill Buckhurst’s King Lear with The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’s Joseph Marcell in the starring-role, the Globe will present the trilogy of Henry VI plays under their original titles.

Directed by Nick Bagnall, site-specific performances of Harry The Sixth, The Houses Of York And Lancaster and The True Tragedy Of The Duke Of York will be staged at historic battle sites from the War of the Roses, possibly with the help of local battle re-enactors, as well as performing at the Globe and York Theatre Royal.

Rounding up the season are three productions which return following their part in last year’s breakthrough Globe To Globe season, South Africa’s Venus & Adonis, a Georgian production of As You Like It and Belarus Free Theatre’s King Lear, along with Footsbarn’s Indian Tempest.

Dromgoole confirmed today that the initial programming for the venue’s new indoor Sam Wanamaker theatre would be announced on 22 April, with the first production opening in January 2014.

To see Alison Balsom perform at the press launch, select Watch The Trailer at the top of the page.

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