Theatre News

Mark Rylance and André Holland to star in new Shakespeare's Globe season

Michelle Terry announces her inaugural season in charge of the London theatre

André Holland, Mark Rylance and Michelle Terry
André Holland, Mark Rylance and Michelle Terry
© Bruce Glikas/Dan Wooller

Michelle Terry has announced her first season as artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe, which features a production of Othello starring Mark Rylance as Iago and André Holland as Othello.

The production will be directed by Rylance's wife Claire van Kampen and will run 20 July to 13 October.

On Rylance's return, Terry said: "It’s the greatest endorsement of the craft of acting that he returns to the Globe…I'm thrilled."

Terry's new approach to programming involves establishing The Globe Ensemble of actors, which includes Federay Holmes, Bettrys Jones, Jack Laskey, Nadia Nadarajah, Pearce Quigley, Shubham Saraf, Elle While, Tanika Yearwood and Terry. The ensemble will open the season with Hamlet on 25 April, which will play alongside As You Like It from 2 May. The actor playing the titular Dane has yet to be decided, though Terry said at the season's launch that she'd 'sure as s**t love to' play the role.

A series of three plays – The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night – will be directed by Brendan O'Hea and toured nationally and internationally after they run at the Globe. In a move replicating a tradition set up in Shakespeare's day, the audience will be able to pick which of the three plays they see each night.

Regarding the audience decisions, Terry said: "I have absolutely no idea [how the audience will choose], we’ve talked about hands up, vegetables being thrown, tweets, luckily we don’t have to make a decision until April."

Barrie Rutter, who will direct and appear in the already announced The Captive Queen at the Sam Wanamaker, is to direct a new production of The Two Noble Kinsmen. It will mark Rutter's first production after stepping down as artistic director of Northern Broadsides and will run from the end of May.

Blanche McIntyre (The Norman Conquests, Titus Andronicus) will direct The Winter's Tale from 22 June to 14 October. During Refugee Week (18-24 June) the Globe will present a festival of events in response to refuge and refugees. The week includes the premiere of Nanjing written and performed by Jude Christian, which tells the story of the Nanjing Massacre of 1937.

New plays at the Globe include Morgan Lloyd Malcolm's Emilia from 10 August to 1 September about the life of Emilia Bassano, who many believe to be the dark lady of the sonnets. It will be directed by Nicole Charles. Following Emilia will be Matt Hartley's Eyam from 15 September to 13 October, directed by Adele Thomas. The piece is set in the village of Eyam in 1665 when the plague arrives.

In August, Love's Labour's Lost will be directed in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by Nick Bagnall.

Shakespeare and Censorship is a series of events that will run throughout February to September exploring censorship of British theatre which officially ended 50 years ago. Shakespeare and Race will be a festival curated to explore the importance of race to Shakespeare. All Places that the Eye of Heaven Visits returns to Westminster Abbey to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday. Rylance will join 23 actors performing poetry, plays and songs throughout the Abbey. The birthday weekend will also be marked by the return of Sonnet Walks and Ten Time Happy Me which will offer the chance for audiences to hear all the sonnets over the course of one day on 2 September.