Shakespeare 400th anniversary marked with ‘Wonder Season’
The Globe is the re-creation of Shakespeare’s circular, wooden theatre on the banks of the River Thames
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London is marking the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death with a “Wonder Season” of some of his most famous plays.
“I’m really seeing the 400th anniversary, the whole season, being a celebration of wonder and reminding us how brilliant Shakespeare was,” said Emma Rice, the theatre’s new artistic director and the first woman to hold the post.
The English language’s foremost playwright died aged 52 on April 23, 1616 and the anniversary is being marked with a host of events in Britain.
The Globe season opens on April 30 with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, directed by Rice.
“It brings great joy, great acceptance, and is about everything I care about: magic, identity and love,” she said.
The Globe is the re-creation of Shakespeare’s circular, wooden theatre on the banks of the River Thames.
Opened in 1997, theatre-goers can stand in the open air to watch the plays.
From September 17, associate director Matthew Dunster will be staging “Imogen”, a “reclaimed and renamed” version of “Cymbeline” telling the story from point of view of the eponymous king’s daughter.
Acclaimed actor Jonathan Pryce will reprise his role as Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice” in October.
The season also features “The Taming of the Shrew”, “Macbeth” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”.
The wider celebrations include “The Complete Walk” on April 23 and 24, featuring 37 screens along a 2.5-mile (four-kilometre) stretch of the Thames riverbank in London.
Each of the 37 separate short films on show will feature some of the world’s top actors performing scenes from Shakespeare plays, shot in the place they were set in.
“Imagine Cleopatra in front of the Pyramids, Shylock in Venice’s Jewish ghetto, Hamlet on the rocks of Elsinore. The Complete Walk will be an interactive journey through Shakespeare’s life and work,” The Globe said.
A two-year world tour of “Hamlet” will be coming home to perform at The Globe on the anniversary weekend, after a final run of shows in Tehran, Lahore in Pakistan, San Marino and Vatican City.
Meanwhile The Royal Mint will issue three different £2 coins to mark 400 years of Shakespeare’s literary legacy since his death.
The coins celebrate his tragedies, comedies and histories with a designs featuring a skull, a jester’s hat and a crown and dagger respectively.