Dromgoole Revolutionises Globe's Tenth BirthdayDate: 25 January 2007
Following the success of last year’s premieres of plays by Simon Bent and Howard Brenton at Shakespeare’s Globe as part of his inaugural season as artistic director (See News, 11 Jan 2006), Dominic Dromgoole is continuing his new work policy this summer with two more premieres, as well as a second chance viewing of Brenton’s Whatonstage.com Award-nominated In Extremis, at the Southwark landmark.
The 2007 repertory season, which marks the tenth anniversary of the theatre modelled on Shakespeare’s original Globe, runs from 4 May to 7 October 2007 and also includes new productions of the Bard’s Othello, The Merchant of Venice and Love’s Labour’s Lost, all presented under the season theme of “Renaissance and Revolution”.
The season kicks off on 4 May 2007 with Othello, which is joined in rep by The Merchant of Venice (for the first time in nine years at the Globe) from 2 June, and by Love’s Labour’s Lost from 1 July. All three Shakespeares will “employ Renaissance staging, costume and music”.
Specially commissioned for the Globe, Jack Shepherd’s new play about the Chartist movement, Holding Fire!, starts performances on 28 July 2007. It’s set in 1837 England, “a country on the cusp of revolution”, where a young girl is propelled on a journey from a London slum to the servants’ quarters of a great house, and from first love to murder. In her flight from authority she come across the Chartist William Lovett, a man striving to steer a middle course between the brutal coalition of Parliament and industry and the angry forces gathering against it. But can his rational, moderate voice be heard above the din of government militias on one side and the roaring militancy of Feargus O’Conor on the other?
The second new play, We, The People, reconstructs the creation of the American Constitution, forging a drama out of surviving speeches, letters and official documents from the country’s founding fathers including Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and George Washington. We, The People joins the rep from 2 September 2007.
Last September’s premiere of the re-telling of the Abelard and Heloise love story, In Extremis, returns for two weeks only from 15 May. Howard Brenton’s drama has been nominated for Best New Play in this year’s Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards (click here to vote now!).
Describing his programme choices in the introduction to the season brochure, Dromgoole writes that the three Shakespeares are “all explorations of his own moment, the late Renaissance”, while the three new plays all “celebrate tipping-points in history”. He also comments on the theatre’s birthday milestone: “The Globe Theatre is ten years young this year. What it has achieved in its first ten years is remarkable, yet every time it opens its doors to a brand new audience, there is a sense of a brand new beginning, a miniature renaissance.”
Further details for the 2007 summer season are due to be announced at a press conference at the Globe on 6 February. Public booking opens on 12 February.
- by Terri Paddock