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Sam Wanamaker Playhouse interior (Photo: Pete Le May)

Globe announces The Winter Selection season

Published May 30, 2017

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced its 2017 indoor season, entitled The Winter Selection, in Emma Rice’s final programme as Artistic Director of the venue.

Playing in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the season opens with a new musical, Romantics Anonymous, directed and written by Rice, with lyrics by Christopher Dimond and music by Michael Kooman. Playing from 20 October 2017 – 6 January 2018 (press night Friday 27 October), the show is based on Jean-Pierre Améris and Phillippe Blasband’s French-Belgian film Les Émotifs Anonymes, following a pair of gifted but anxious chocolatiers in a struggling factory who, through love, find the courage to be happy.

Romantics Anonymous is presented by special arrangement with Radio Mouse Entertainment, a Tony Award-winning New York-based theatre and media production company that has been developing the project for the musical stage since 2014. Christopher Dimond and Michael Kooman, whose previous musicals include Dani Girl and Judge Jackie and who are currently writing the score for an animated Disney television series, will be making their London professional debut as musical theatre writers.

This will be followed by Anders Lustgarten’s new play The Secret Theatre, directed by Associate Director Matthew Dunster, in an espionage thriller centring on Elizabeth I’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, who adopts extreme tactics to keep his queen and country safe as the nation’s relationship with Europe deteriorates and civil unrest grows. The show opens 16 November, with press night Wednesday 22 November, and plays until 16 December.

An alternative Christmas show from post-post-modern cabaret artist Meow Meow is next to take to the intimate candlelit venue. Apocalypse Meow: Crisis Is Born (20 – 31 December 2017, ages 14+) is a hilarious and heart-wrenching festive extravaganza, combining moments of hare-brained hijinks with poignant and tender reflections on loneliness, lost dreams and the end of days.

The new year will bring a revival of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well (11 January 2018 – 3 March 2018, press night Wednesday 17 January), directed by Caroline Byrne, and then The Captive Queen (2 February – 4 March 2018, press night Wednesday 7 February), a reimagining of John Dryden’s Restoration drama Aureng-zebe, directed by Barrie Rutter and co-produced with Northern Broadsides. The latter is set in the woollen mills of the North of England in the late 20th century, but retains a flavour of Dryden’s original Mughal Indian setting, following four royals besotted with the same captive queen.

The winter season closes with Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – A Reimagining (9 March 2018 – 21 April, press night Friday 16 March), created by Gyre & Gimble and recomposed by Max Richter, with new arrangements for a quintet of London’s finest musicians. The unprecedented collaboration will explore the crystalline acoustic and candlelit ambience of the Playhouse.

Finally, the return of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Matchgirl And Other Happier Tales, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, in co-production with Bristol Old Vic, will play from 27 March – 21 April 2018. Inspired by Andersen’s beautiful and devastating tale, and incorporating several of his other beloved stories – The Emperor’s New Clothes, Thumbelina, and The Princess And The Pea – it is written by the award-winning Joel Horwood, and returns following a triumphant run in 2016.

Of Emma Rice, Artistic Director, said: “I’ve always seen the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as a little box of treats, encouraging the primal need to tell and hear stories and inviting tales and magic to unfurl beneath the flicker of the candles.

“For my final season as Artistic Director at the Globe, I knew I wanted to present the most delicious, unique and beautiful box of delights. The Winter Selection will take us to a singing chocolate factory in France, the inner sanctum of Elizabeth I’s court, the dark and dangerous world of All’s Well That Ends Well, the palaces of India, the emotional depths of Vivaldi, and the tender chaos of Meow Meow’s Christmas, before we tumble back down the rabbit hole with the return of The Little Matchgirl.”

For more information and to book your tickets, visit the venue’s website.

"I've always seen the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as a little box of treats, encouraging the primal need to tell and hear stories and inviting tales and magic to unfurl beneath the flicker of the candles."