Footsbarn Cracker Marks Globe Christmas FirstDate: 5 August 2009
Shakespeare’s Globe will present its first Christmas production this winter. The open-air Bankside landmark, whose annual summer repertory runs from May to October, will open its doors for its first festive season from 22 December 2009 to 3 January 2010 to welcome back, for a second year in a row, acclaimed physical theatre company Footsbarn.
Footsbarn marked a return to the capital for the first time in 17 years when they presented A Shakespeare Party for five sell-out performances as part of the Globe’s Totus Mundus season back last May (See News, 6 Feb 2008). This year at the Globe, they’ll present their Christmas Cracker, inspired by the works of Shakespeare, for 18 daytime performances (at 11am, 2pm and 5.30pm).
They then made a rare appearance at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe with their international take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production, presented in the company’s specially constructed big top tent, won a Total Theatre Award and subsequently transferred for a run last November in London’s Victoria Park (See News, 29 Sep 2008).
With Christmas Cracker, Footsbarn are promising a “midwinter celebration of London’s rich, bawdy, pagan past” in two brief half-hour acts of magic, music, puppets and circus-based family entertainment around an interval “giving plenty of room for mulled wine and hot food in the break”. The Footsbarn characters on display will include a poetry-reciting, three-headed Bard, a tightrope-walking Juliet, an accordion-playing worm and the “Lord of Misrule”.
Commenting on Footsbarn’s return to the venue, Globe artistic director Dominic Dromgoole said: “They are genuinely bananas, wild and imaginative – that’s why I love them so much.”
Since setting up in a barn belonging to Oliver Foot’s farm in Cornwall over 35 years ago, Footsbarn has toured the world, communicating Shakespeare’s works through “music, magic and mayhem”. Originally an all-British ensemble, the company - now based in Auvergne, France - currently includes 12 different nationalities of actors and musicians under the directorship of Paddy Hayter.