Shakespeare's Globe has announced plans for its 2010 season, which will aim to build on the success of a year that's seen record attendances at the south bank venue despite the economic downturn.

The season, entitled Kings and Rogues, will open on Shakespeare's birthday (23 April), and “embrace some of the playwright's most regal rogues and some of his most roguish kings”. Highlights include stagings of Henry VIII and Henry IV parts 1 and 2, all making their premieres at the new Globe.

The new season will also see the Globe's first ever staging of what it terms a "known female playwright". Nell Leyshon's Bedlam, a fictional portrayal of a London hospital for the insane, based on direct research from Bethlem Royal Hospital, runs from 9 September to 1 October 2010 (previews from 5 September).

Another new work being premiered next season is Howard Brenton's Anne Boleyn, marking a return to the venue for Brenton following the success of In Extremis in 2006/07. His new play dramatises the life and legacy of Henry VIII's notorious second wife – exploring both her passion for the King and her love of the most dangerous ideas of her day. Directed by John Dove, it runs from 28 July to 21 August 2010 (previews from 24 July).

The Kings and Rogues season launches with Macbeth (29 April to 27 June, previews from 23 April), which is followed by Henry VIII (24 May to 21 August 2010, previews from 15 May). Both productions are yet to have directors assigned.

Dominic Dromgoole will then direct Henry IV Part 1 (14 July to 2 October, previews from 6 June) and Henry IV Part 2 (14 July to 3 October, previews from 3 July) in rep. The final Shakespeare production in the season will be a revival Christopher Luscombe's 2008 staging of The Merry Wives of Windsor (19 August to 2 October, previews from 14 August).

Record year

During this year's Young Hearts season, the Globe welcomed over 345,000 audience members through its doors, a record figure for the venue since it reopened in 1997. Productions across the entire season averaged 87% of full capacity, with over 40% taking advantage of the £5 'groundling' tickets.

Announcing the new season, artistic director Dominic Dromgoole said: “Our building continues to embrace the most democratic audience in the world – all of us a rogue and a king in our own way – much like William Shakespeare.

“The 2010 theatre season offers a flavour of some of his wild, warm, violent and virtuous kings and rogues – plus new creations from two of our most rousing, contemporary playwrights. We are proud to continue our national and international touring, reaching out to new audiences for the Globe.”