Following Footsbarn’s Christmas Cracker last festive season, Shakespeare’s Globe will return to winter programming early next year by inviting musical group Gabrieli Consort & Players to perform at the open air venue from 1 to 3 January.
The show – entitled Winter Wassail after the ancient custom of coming together to drink from the wassail bowl at the turn of the year – is billed as an uplifting musical celebration of the New Year. The Gabrieli Consort & Players will present a selection of seasonal musical pieces inspired by the words of Shakespeare, Hardy and Chaucer, while Globe actor Peter Hamilton Dyer will join them on stage to perform poetry readings.
Those wary of seeing an outdoor performance in winter need not worry; Winter Wassail will be presented in two short half-hour acts, with plenty of time in the interval to warm up with mulled wine and hot food.
Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, said: “Music always plays a big part in Globe shows and this will be a rare opportunity for us all to hear the sound of exquisite voices and period instruments reverberate through this theatre uninterrupted. The programme will be of top musical standard as well as great family fun, featuring a wealth of songs and words which have been used across the ages to shoo away the darkness and bless the arrival of the New Year.”
Founded in 1982, the Gabrieli Consort & Players have built their reputation on interpreting great choral and instrumental repertoire spanning the renaissance to the present day. The ensemble’s Artistic Director, Paul McCreesh, commented: “I am thrilled to be performing at the Globe for the first time. It will be a crazy project, bringing all sorts of lively music from mid-winter festivals from the medieval to19th century into the open air. This will be a real mulled wine musical celebration that has a winter theme, rather than a predictable Christmas programme.”