London’s theatre scene is almost synonymous with the West End, making it easy to forget that one of the most iconic venues in the capital is anchored close to its historical spot on the Southbank. For those that prefer a challenge, however, Shakespeare’s Globe proposes a different kind of winter season: from Doctor Faustus to Macbeth, the programme vows to keep us warm with reworkings of tales of identity, power and desire. As our society begins to look more and more dystopian, slip out of reality for a few hours and immerse yourself in the bard’s world. Who knows, things might not seem so different after all. We’re invited to the playhouse to exhume Shakespeare’s greatest heroes, breathing new life into the works as we create the ghosts ‘of tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow’.
Image: Shakespeare’s Globe
21 New Globe Walk
London SE1 9DT
Nearest Tube: Blackfriars
Opening Hours: Check calendar.
Anyone that frequents the Globe and ventures down its stories of sweat, heartbreak and tears will tell you that a month concluding with Faustus and Macbeth has been anything but an easy ride. For those that want to take it one step further down this thought-provoking rabbit hole, the iconic theatre brings Shakespeare’s William II to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse to relinquish his ‘hollow crown,’ The questions asked by this play are ever-resounding on the eve of Brexit Britain, as one of the bard’s most iconic characters embarks on an exploration of status and identity and the pitfalls brought by their disintegration. With Adjoa Andoh and Lynette Linton attaching their name to the project, the play sees a cast of women of colour taking to stage, launching further debates on what it means to be British.
Image: Shakespeare’s Globe
Sticking to its balancing of Shakespeare with other Renaissance acts, Edward II also takes center stage in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Come February 7th, the Globe proposes an unlikely pre-Valentine’s Celebration – one full of abused power, quarrelling courts and the pitfalls of sexuality. Early modern theatre was truly shaken by the visceral scenes of Christopher Marlowe’s play and the Southbank location is only going to heighten that, the eerily candlelit Wanamaker Playhouse bringing its historic gravity to the mix.
On a more light-hearted note, the Globe is renowned for its summers of love, so theatregoers can be certain to expect a change of tone in the upcoming months. One instalment to watch out for is the return of The Globe’s Touring Ensemble this May, with a reworking of The Comedy of Errors amongst others, exploring themes of refuge and displacement. As always, Shakespeare’s Globe has something for everyone, whether it is history, modernity and everything in between. From the cautionary to the predictive, the only caveat is that these architectures of the past teach us something about the legacy of tomorrow.