Emma Rice's final season at Shakespeare's Globe has been announced.
Taking place in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Rice's final season – the 2017 winter season – opens with a new musical, directed by Rice, with a book by Rice, lyrics by Christopher Dimond and music by Michael Kooman. Romantics Anonymous is based on the film Les Émotifs Anonymes written by Jean-Pierre Améris and Philippe Blasband. The show runs from 20 October 2017 to 6 January 2018. It tells the story of a shy chocolate maker and the boss of a struggling chocolate factory.
The show is to be presented by special arrangement with Radio Mouse Entertainment, a New York-based theatre and media production company which has been developing the musical for the stage since 2014.
Following the musical is The Secret Theatre, a new play by Anders Lustgarten, directed by Matthew Dunster, which will run between 16 November and 16 December. It follows Elizabeth I's spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham who adopts extreme tactics to keep the Queen and country safe as the relationship with Europe deteriorates.
The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will also host Apocalypse Meow: Crisis is Born between 20 to 31 December from cabaret performer Meow Meow, who starred in Rice's first show at the theatre A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2016.
In January, Caroline Byrne directs All's Well that Ends Well, following her production of The Taming of the Shrew in the main space in 2016. Artistic director of Northern Broadsides Barrie Rutter will direct The Captive Queen, a re-imagining of John Dryden's restoration drama Aureng-zebe. The show runs from 2 February to 4 March 2018 and is set in the woollen mills of the north of England in the late 20th century.
In March, puppeteers Gyre and Gimble stage Max Richter's Vivaldi's The Four Seasons – a re-imagining. The season comes to an end with a return for Rice's The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales which runs from 27 March to 21 April.
Rice commented on the line-up: "I've always seen the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as a little box of treats, encouraging the primal need to tell and hear stories and inviting tales and magic to unfurl beneath the flicker of the candles. For my final season as artistic director at the Globe, I knew I wanted to present the most delicious, unique and beautiful box of delights."