Globe Season Opens with Record BookingsDate: 12 May 2000
Shakespeare's Globe's 2000 season opens tonight with record advance bookings and a high profile production of The Tempest, starring Vanessa Redgrave as Prospero. To date, the box office has taken more than £1.2 million for the four period pieces comprising the theatre's fourth summer season, which runs until 24 September. Last summer's repertory attracted 200,000 visitors, filling houses to an average 89 percent capacity. Expectations this year are for even higher attendances.
The Tempest, which begins previews tonight and opens officially on 26 May, runs until 10 September. It's directed by Lenka Udovicki. Later this month, it's joined in repertory by Hamlet, directed by Giles Block and starring Globe artistic director Mark Rylance in the title role. Hamlet opens 9 June, previews from 28 May, and continues until 24 September.
The second half of the 2000 season features two rarely performed pieces. Two Noble Kinsmen, a collaboration between Shakespeare and John Fletcher, is believed to include the last words the bard ever wrote for the theatre. Directed by Tim Carroll, it opens 4 August, previews from 29 July, and continues until 23 September. It's joined in repertory by the season's final production, The Antipodes, a screwball comedy by Shakespeare contemporary Richard Brome, who was also the manservant of the more well-known author and actor Ben Jonson. The Antipodes, directed by American Gerald Freeman, opens on 18 August, previews from 12 August, and continues until 22 September.
The unusual casting for The Tempest has attracted the most headlines for this year's programme. At a press conference held earlier this year, Globe artistic director Mark Rylance admitted that the choice of Vanessa Redgrave for the part of Prospero was, in part, an effort to redress the gender imbalance which last year saw many female Shakespearean parts at the Globe given to males, including the Cleopatra which Rylance played himself. Redgrave's father played the role for the Royal Shakespeare Company five decades ago.