Globe Summer Opens Tonight with Twelfth NightDate: 22 May 2002
Shakespeare's Globe officially launches its summer 2002 season this evening with Twelfth Night, the first in three new productions to be performed in repertory until 29 September. Twelfth Night opens tonight, 22 May (previews from 11 May), and will be joined by the bard's other popular unrequited love comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and a new piece, The Golden Ass, written especially for the Globe by Peter Oswald.
In Twelfth Night, directed by Tim Carroll, the young Viola, believing her twin brother has died in a shipwreck which she survived, is stranded on the island of Illyria, where she disguises herself as a page named Cesario and enters the service of the handsome Duke Orsino. The Duke is in love with the Countess Olivia who, through happenstance, falls in love with Cesario. The production continues in repertory until 27 September.
This Globe outing of Twelfth Night will be an "original practices" production - in other words, remaining faithful to 17th century production constraints in terms of clothing, setting, music and the like. This summer's A Midsummer Night's Dream, by contrast, will adhere to "modern practices", with all of the above updated to 2002.
The story of A Midsummer Night's Dream revolves around a quartet of bickering young lovers who one night find themselves in a magical forest, where the faeries are running rampant, after fleeing the confines of Athenian life. The production, playing from 5 June to 27 September (previews from 26 May), is directed by Mike Alfreds.
The final production in the summer season is also an erotic comedy, inspired by Lucius Apuleius' original tale "The Golden Ass", which provided Shakespeare with the source for Titania making love to the donkey-transformed Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. In Peter Oswald's new version, an insatiably curious young man, wishing to turn himself into a wise owl, takes the wrong drug by mistake and becomes an ass instead. His subsequent travels lead him to encounter the chaos of human desire from the perspective of a servile donkey. The Golden Ass runs in repertory from 16 August to 29 September (previews from 3 August).
- by Terri Paddock