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Shakespeare's Globe launches Star-Crossed Lovers season

Story by Jack Foley

THE box office at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre is now open for the 2004 season of Star-Crossed Lovers, featuring three of William Shakespeare’s best-loved plays - Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing and Measure for Measure.

Priority bookings have exceeded £500,000 and a record breaking season at The Globe is in prospect.

All three plays will be original practices productions exploring clothing, music, dance and settings from Shakespeare’s time and - following the success of the all-female Richard III and The Taming of the Shrew last year - Much Ado About Nothing will be performed by a company of women players.

Measure for Measure and Romeo and Juliet will be performed by mixed companies.

Throughout the season, Shakespeare’s Globe will be working with the emotional support charity, Samaritans, in this, its 50th anniversary year, helping to raise awareness of their work through a series of events, including a fundraising evening on September 15; a photographic competition on the theme of ‘human connection’ and The Spearshaker Talk, by Jeremy Paxman, on April 23.

Commenting on this partnership, Globe artistic director, Mark Rylance, said: "Working with Samaritans, who respond every minute of every day and night to those of us who face, in isolation, some obstacle to our emotional well-being, we at the Globe have found a partner in our own work to gather people together in a beneficial space of language and communication."

Midway through the season, in July, a special event will take place at Hampton Court Palace, to mark the 400th anniversary of performances by Shakespeare and his fellow actors for King James 1. Click here for more details…

Shakespeare’s Globe box office is available by calling 020 7401 9919. Tickets are also available through See on 020 7850 8590.

Listings info

Romeo and Juliet, by The Company of Men and Women. Starring Kananu Kirimi (Juliet) and Tim Caroll (Master of Play). A violent street brawl between their rival families is the prelude to Romeo’s first meeting with Juliet. Despite this, and the fact that Juliet has been promised to another man in marriage, a love is born between them. Can the relationship survive against the background of enmity between Capulet and Motague? Opens: May 7, 2004

Much Ado About Nothing, by The Women’s Company. Starring Tamara Harvey (Master of Play) and Yolanda Vasquez (Beatrice). Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, arrives at the house of Leonato and a happy match is foreseen between Claudio, one of Don Pedro’s men, and Leonato’s daughter, Hero. At the same time, a plan is afoot to bring about the more unlikely pairing of Beatrice and Benedick, who are engaged in a stubborn battle of wit and will. Opens: May 23

Measure for Measure, by The Company of Men and Women. Starring: Mark Rylance (Vincentio) and John Dove (Master of Play). Vincentio, Duke of Vienna, leaves his kingdom suddenly and resigns power to his deputy, Angelo. A vigorous campaign against lechery begins under Angelo’s rule, and one of the first to suffer is Claudio, sentenced to death for making his lover, Juliet, pregnant. Claudio asks his sister, Isabella, to intercede on his behalf, but Angelo demands a higher price than she is prepared to pay. Opens: June 18

Special events

The Spearshalk Talk - Friday, April 23 (6.30pm): Jeremy Paxman will address the themes of the theatre season with special reference to the work of Samaritans.

Sonnet Walks: Sweet Love Remember’d - Saturday, April 24 (10am-12.45pm): These tours of Tudor London start from either Westminster or Shoreditch and end at Shakespeare’s Globe. Twelve sonneteers entertain walkers on the way.

William Poel Festival Performance - Sunday, May 2 (4pm): An opportunity to see the new generation of classical actors from Britain’s leading drama schools performing scenes from Shakespeare on the Globe stage.

The Comedy Store Players - Monday, June 7 (8pm): The Comedy Store Players return to the Globe for the seventh year running to present another evening of improvised comedy.

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