Popular: Gemma Arterton in The Duchess of Malfi
Popular: Gemma Arterton in The Duchess of Malfi

Shakespeare's Globe has announced a "triumphant" first season in its indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

The inaugural season, which ran from January to April in the candlelit venue, saw average audiences of 95% capacity and over 40,000 tickets sold.

But not everything went seamlessly. According to the Globe, "While the authentically unforgiving oak bench seating initially provoked a few grumbles, extra cushioning was deemed to have improved matters by the end of the season."

The venue, which had been in development since the new Globe opened its doors in 1997, opened with an acclaimed revival of The Duchess of Malfi starring Gemma Arterton.

This was followed by revivals of Francis Beaumont's comedy The Knight of the Burning Pestle starring Pauline McLynn and Cavalli's opera L'Ormindo in a co-production with the Royal Opera House.

Both these productions will be revived in the second season, which is book-ended by plays by John Ford; 'Tis Pity She's a Whore opens on 23 October 2014, while The Broken Heart will run from 12 March to 18 April 2015. C

Completing the trio of classic Jacobean tragedies, Middleton's ferocious tale of madness and passion The Changeling will run from 15 January to 1 March 2015.

Summer programme

Between 11 February and 7 March, the Playhouse will host the world premiere of Claire van Kampen's new play with music, Farinelli and the King. And the Globe Young Players, a company of 12-16-year-olds who train with the Globe's resident experts, will present Marlowe's Dido, Queen of Carthage.

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will also host a series of events throughout the summer, including Derek Walcott's new stage adaptation of his 1990 epic poem Omeros, starring Joseph Marcell (31 May to 9 June), and a specially commissioned choral piece about Tudor composer Thomas Tallis (27 July to 10 August).

Artistic director Dominic Dromgoole's production of Julius Caesar, which plays in the Globe from 20 June to 11 October, will transfer to the Sam Wanamaker for a one-off candlelit performance.

The production stars George Irving as Caesar, Luke Thompson as Mark Antony, Katy Stephens as Calphurnia, Tom McKay as Brutus, Anthony Howell as Cassius and Catherine Bailey as Portia.