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Rylance returns to Shakespeare’s Globe

First Published 2 December 2011, Last Updated 1 February 2012

The former Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Mark Rylance, is to return to the venue for two productions in its new season next summer.

Rylance, who oversaw the opening of the reconstructed theatre in 1995 and remained in charge until 2005, will play the title role in Richard III and reprise his acclaimed performance as Olivia in his 2002 production of Twelfth Night.

The productions will be performed in repertoire by an all-male cast and use ‘original practices’ such as recreated Elizabethan clothing, music and dance. Both are staged by the same team that created Twelfth Night for the Globe in 2002, including director Tim Carroll.

The Globe’s current Artistic Director, Dominic Dromgoole, commented: “It was the Globe’s greatest stroke of good fortune to have Mark as its first Artistic Director – an actor of great distinction and a leader of rare imagination. No-one has contributed more to the success of the Globe than Mark and we all – actors, artists and audiences – play happily within the conditions he created. It is our further great good luck that he is returning, with his Original Practices team, to play in the Globe again. It will be a fitting climax to an extraordinary summer which begins with our unprecedented Globe To Globe festival.”

Already feted as one of Britain’s foremost actors, since leaving Shakespeare’s Globe Rylance has consolidated his reputation with performances in Boeing Boeing, La Bête and the multi-award-winning Jerusalem, all of which transferred to Broadway. Rylance featured in the Best Actor Olivier Awards nominations list for all three productions, winning for Jerusalem in 2010.

The Globe has also gone from strength to strength in recent years, building on the legacy left by Rylance to present ambitious seasons with top-flight actors, attracting bumper audiences; this year’s The Word Is God season played to 89% capacity. The venue’s contribution to the World Shakespeare Festival next year is its most ambitious project to date; Globe To Globe will present all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays in a different language between April and June in partnership with invited international theatre companies from all over the world.

Dromgoole’s production of Henry V, which ends Globe To Globe, will become the first production in the main summer season, playing from 7 June. Jamie Parker, who played Prince Hal in Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 at the venue in 2010, will return to the character in this continuation of his journey. Parker, who appeared in the National’s acclaimed production of The History Boys, was seen earlier this year in Trevor Nunn’s revival of Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead.

The 2012 season – named The Play’s The Thing – is completed by a new production of The Taming Of The Shrew, directed by Toby Frow.

The summer season plays from 7 June to 14 October and booking opens to the general public on 13 February.



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