Globe stages first ever Christmas Cracker

Published August 4, 2009

Theatregoers at Shakespeare’s Globe will be wrapping up warm this winter as the open air venue stages its debut Christmas production.

Footsbarn’s Christmas Cracker, which will run for 18 performances between 22 December and 3 January, is billed as a “family feast of carnival, comedy and Christmas cheer”.

A short production of two half hour acts separated by an interval, meaning audiences don’t spend too long in the cold, Christmas Cracker is inspired by the works of Shakespeare and will draw on London’s bawdy pagan past and festive traditions.

Founded in Cornwall 35 years ago, Footsbarn Theatre tours the world with its own mix of Shakespearean music, magic and mayhem. Based in France for the last 20 years, the company was last seen in London in November 2008, when it presented A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Victoria Park.

Among its bizarre characters are a three-headed Shakespeare with a penchant for discovering previously unheard words, a violin-playing, tightrope-walking Juliet and the Lord of Misrule, who ensures all the laws are broken at the Feast of Fools.

Speaking about fabulously unorthodox Footsbarn, Shakespeare’s Globe’s Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole said: “They are genuinely bananas, wild and imaginative – that’s why I love them so much.”

Shakespeare’s Globe is currently presenting its regular summer season which, for 2009, is entitled Young Hearts. Among the productions playing at the Bankside venue this summer are Romeo And Juliet, As You Like It, Troilus And Cressida, A New World: A Life Of Thomas Paine and Love’s Labour’s Lost.

MA