Globe Announces 1999 Summer SeasonDate: 21 January 1999
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre has released details for its 1999 summer repertory season which will include the first play written specifically for the new Globe as well as all-male productions of both Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra.
In Shakespeare's day, female parts were played by males (though boys, not men), but the practice is not common in modern productions. Last summer, the Globe revived the tradition with the smaller female roles in Henry V being played by boys.
The all-male production of Antony and Cleopatra, will join the repertoire on 30 July. This is the third major production of Shakespeare's classic love story in less than a year. Last October, the RNT staged a widely hyped but poorly received production starring Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman; in June of this year, the RSC has a go in Stratford with Alan Bates and Frances de la Tour headlining. The Globe's, however, is the only Antony and Cleopatra - and the first in living memory for a major international company - that will feature an adult male (Mark Rylance, the Globe's artistic director) as the Egyptian queen.
This is followed by another first for the Globe - the first play written specifically for the reconstructed theatre. Peter Oswald's Augustine's Oak premieres at the theatre on 21 August. The play is set in the late 6th century when Pope Gregory sent Augustine to Britain to convert the pagans and bring the Celtic Church in line with Rome. Matters come to a head under an oak tree on the Welsh border. Oswald's recent plays and adaptations include Fair Ladies at a Game of Poem Cards at the RNT in 1996, Shakuntala at the Gate and Dona Rosita at the Almeida, both in 1997.
The Globe is an open-air theatre whose season runs from May to September. Booking for the 1999 season opens in February.