Shakespeare’s Globe has confirmed full casting details for this summer. Following last year’s “Season of Regime Change”, this year’s “Season of Star-Crossed Lovers” will run from 7 May to 26 September 2004 (See News, 11 Nov 2003).

Unusually this summer’s season comprises just three, rather than the usual four, productions, and are all Shakespeare plays - Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure. In addition, all three will be original practices productions, exploring the clothing, music, dance and settings from Shakespeare's time.

The season opens with Tim Carroll’s mixed-gender production of Romeo and Juliet, running from 7 May to 26 September 2004. The young lovers are played by Tom Burke and Kananu Kirimi, who are joined in the cast by Bette Bourne (in drag as the Nurse) John McEnery, James Garnon, Bill Stewart, Rhys Meredith, Melanie Jessop, Joel Trill, Callum Coates, Terry McGinity, John Paul Connolly, Simon Muller, Tas Emiabata and Julia Marsen.

Following on the success of last year's Richard II and The Taming of the Shrew, Tamara Harvey’s 2004 production of Much Ado About Nothing, which runs from 23 May to 25 September 2004, will be performed by an all-female company.

Benedick and Beatrice will be played by Josie Lawrence (Frozen, TV’s Fat Friends and Whose Line Is It Anyway?) and Yolanda Vazquez. They’re joined in the cast by Hannah Barrie, Penelope Beaumonnt, Lucy Campbell, Belinda Davison, Penelope Dimond, Mariah Gale, Joyce Henderson, Jules Melvin, Ann Ogbomo, Gabriel Reidy, Joy Richardson, Rachel Sanders and Sarah Woodward.

The final production of the season, Measure for Measure, running 18 June to 24 September 2004, will be performed by a mixed company, including Globe artistic director Mark Rylance as Vincentio. Directed by John Dove, the cast will also feature Liam Brennan, Sophie Thomson, Colin Hurley, Edward Peel, John Dougall, Patrick Brennan, Alex Hassell, Roger Watkins, Hilary Tones, Peter Shorey, Roger McKern, Christopher John Hall and Liana Weafer.

- by Terri Paddock