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Lope de Vega’s Punishment Without Revenge - Shakespeare's Globe

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MADRID-based company Fundaciόn Siglo de Oro (formerly Rakatá), will stage Lope de Vega’s Punishment Without Revenge at Shakespeare’s Globe – for five performances only from September 1 to September 6, 2014.

Directed by Ernesto Arias, the production will be performed in Spanish with scene synopses in English.

Famous for their fresh approach to the classics of the Spanish Golden Age, the company last appeared on the Globe stage in 2012 for the Globe to Globe festival.

Set in Naples, Punishment Without Revenge is a classic tale of a thrilling love triangle between the Duke of Ferrara, his young wife, and his stepson Federico. The production will be staged in Lope de Vega’s mother tongue and historical costume.

Federico, bastard son of the Duke of Ferrara, falls in love with Cassandra, his father’s intended bride, and she with him. When the truth of their ‘dishonourable’ union comes to light, the Duke exacts a pitiless revenge.

On its skillfully plotted journey towards a violent climax, equal to that of any Jacobean playwright, Punishment Without Revenge explores the tragic role of honour in seventeenth-century life – cruel, fundamental, and inescapable.

This is the first Globe staging of a play from the Spanish Golden Age – with fascinating correspondences to the drama of Elizabethan England – and a rare chance to see one of Lope de Vega’s greatest plays in its original language.

Created in 2003, Fundaciόn Siglo de Oro devotes itself to the dissemination of classical texts, with particular focus on the works of the Spanish Golden Age. With abundant success in their theatre productions, the company also collaborates with educational and research institutions.

The company’s last production at the Globe was Henry VIII, part of the 2012 Globe to Globe festival of international Shakespeare. The production was termed “superb” by the Guardian, and The Arts Desk said the company “navigated the Globe space as if they’d been acting there for years”.

Described as “the prodigy of nature” by Cervantes, Lope de Vega is considered one of the most outstanding dramatists of the Spanish Golden Age. He is author of as many as 1,800 plays and several hundred shorter dramatic pieces, of which 431 plays and 50 shorter pieces are still in existence. Lope de Vega developed the dramatic form comedia nueva – not comedy in the modern sense but a dramatic blend of tragedy and comedy.

For more information or to book, call the box office on +44 (0) 20 7401 9919 or visit

Also at Shakespeare’s Globe: Antony and Cleopatra, starring Eve Best (until August 24); David Eldridge’s brand new play Holy Warriors (until August 24); Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors (August 30 to October 12); and Howard Brenton’s Doctor Scroggy’s War (September 12 to October 10).