Emma Rice announces first season as Globe artistic director
The new boss of Shakespeare's Globe reveals her plans for 2016
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Throughout the season, a magical forest designed by Lez Brotherston featuring silver birch tree trunks will span from the piazza onto London's Bankside.
To coincide with the forest, the season will open in April with a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Rice.
Rice said today at the launch: "This is an amazing new adventure for me. I want to remind us of what it is like to tell a story... The Globe is the most accessible and inviting place in London and I want to continue that."
Up next will be The Taming of the Shrew directed by Gate Theatre creative associate Caroline Byrne. Running from May to August the production, which Byrne will set in Ireland, tells of two sisters approaching marriage but both with different mindsets, one excited, one horrified.
"Taming of the Shrew taunts us," said Rice. "How can we make this play for the 21st century? I told Byrne to be brave and it's going to be very Irish."
Acclaimed opera and theatre director Iqbal Khan then directs the Scottish classic Macbeth from June whilst Kneehigh show 946 The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, which was co-adapted by War Horse writer Michael Morpurgo with Rice, will run at the Globe between August and September. It is based on his novel about the preparation for the D-Day landings. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk will also run in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from June. The Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic production tells of a young couple navigating the Russian Revolution and each other.
Further ahead, the season will also see Olivier-nominated director Matthew Dunster direct Imogen (Sept to Oct), a renamed and 'reclaimed' version of Cymbeline. Jonathan Munby's heralded version of The Merchant of Venice will return to the Globe in October, following a national and international tour, which kicks off at the Liverpool Playhouse in June. Multi-award winning actor Jonathan Pryce will reprise his role of Shylock.
In the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the theatre will host a touring production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona from September to October, directed by Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse associate director Nick Bagnall.
The Playhouse season will close with The Inn at Lydda, a play from John Wolfson who is Honorary Curator of Rare Books for the Globe. The play follows Tiberius Caesar and a meeting with Jesus Christ in Judea.
Rice also announced that there would be relaxed performances for every production and has reduced the number of plays in the season this year than in previous years.
Rice takes over from Dominic Dromgoole who has led the venue since 2006.