Sir Mark Rylance will return to Shakespeare’s Globe this summer to play Iago in Othello, as part of newly-appointed Artistic Director Michelle Terry’s inaugural 2018 season.
Rylance’s star billing is one highlight of a line-up which also includes exciting productions of Hamlet, As You Like It, The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Winter’s Tale and Love’s Labour’s Lost. The season also includes the premiere of three new plays, national and international Shakespeare tours, and a programme of events looking at race, refuge and refugees in relation to Shakespeare.
Rylance, the multi-Academy and Olivier Award-winning practitioner, was the founding artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe, leading the venue between 1996 and 2005 and playing a multitude of roles in the process. Othello will be directed by the award-winning Claire van Kampen, the Globe’s founding Director of Theatre Music and Rylance’s wife, and will star Moonlight and Selma actor André Holland as the titular tragic hero. The production will play from 20 July.
Before then, however, the season opens on 25 April with Hamlet, which will play alongside As You Like It from 2 May. Both written around 1599, the year the original Globe was built, these plays will be explored by The Globe Ensemble, a group of artists which includes Terry herself, in the unique setting of the theatre for which they were written.
John Fletcher and William Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kinsmen will play from 25 May, directed by former Northern Broadsides director Barrie Rutter. Rutter is soon to be directing and appearing in his forthcoming production of The Captive Queen in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as part of the 2017/18 winter season.
From 22 June, The Winter’s Tale will be directed by Blanche McIntyre, having previously staged The Comedy Of Errors (2014) and As You Like It (2015) at Shakespeare’s Globe. From 23 August, Love’s Labour’s Lost will be directed by Nick Bagnall, Associate Director of the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Two new plays will also premiere on The Globe stage this summer: The Wasp playwright Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s Emilia (10 August – 1 September), which explores the life of ‘Dark Lady of the Sonnets’ Emilia Bassano; and Matt Hartley’s Eyam (15 September – 13 October), which finds a community torn between fleeing their 1665 Derbyshire village and potentially spreading a vicious plague, and the prospect of staying put and facing their own demise.
Throughout February to September, a series of events will focus on Shakespeare and Censorship from historical, national and international perspectives, and from 12 August, Shakespeare and Race will be a festival of events which will include performances, workshops, public lectures, panels and an international conference, to highlight the importance of race to the consideration of Shakespeare in his time and our own.
As part of a series of scenes, sonnets and songs, a unique event at Westminster Abbey, All Places That The Eye Of Heaven Visits, returns in late April. In celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday, Mark Rylance will join a company of 23 actors, as Shakespeare’s plays, poetry and song are brought to life in fleeting and intimate encounters throughout the Abbey. Shakespeare’s birthday weekend will also include the Globe and Mark’s annual Sonnet Walks: Sweet Love Remember’d, a walk through Shakespeare’s London brought alive by actors.
Meanwhile, Brendan O’Hea will direct a tour of eight actors with The Merchant Of Venice, The Taming Of The Shrew and Twelfth Night, visiting venues across the country and Europe.