Cast announced for All’s Well That Ends Well

All's Well That Ends Well
All's Well That Ends Well

All’s Well That Ends Well

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the full casting for Caroline Byrne’s forthcoming production of All’s Well That Ends Well opening in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse on Thursday 11 January.  

Ellora Torchia will play Helena. Previous theatre work includes The Treatment (Almeida) and Boys will be Boys (Bush Theatre). Screen credits include The Split (BBC), Broadchurch (ITV) and Indian Summers (Channel 4).

Will Merrick will play Bertram. Will’s recent theatre credits include The Libertine (Theatre Royal Bath), The Ghost Train (Royal Exchange), Merlin (Royal & Derngate) and Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC). Television work includes PoldarkCount Arthur StrongAtlantis and Doctor Who (BBC). Film credits include Modern Life is Rubbish and About Time.

Nigel Cooke will play the King of France, having appeared on the Globe stage as Lucifer in Doctor Faustus in 2011, and as Exeter in Henry V in 2012. Other theatre work includes To Kill A Mockingbird(Royal Exchange), Berenice (Donmar Warehouse), King Lear (Liverpool Everyman), Pericles and The Winter’s Tale (RSC). Nigel’s television work includes GrantchesterBeowulf (ITV) and The Crown(Netflix). Film credits include Henry V and Forget Me Not.

Martina Laird is the Countess of Rossillion, returning to The Globe after appearing in Romeo and Juliet earlier this year. Martina’s recent stage credits include Julius Caesar / Henry IV / The Tempest (Donmar Warehouse), Who Cares (Royal Court), The House That Will Not Stand (Tricycle Theatre), Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (Talawa Theatre Company, National Theatre) and All the Little Things We Crushed(Almeida Theatre). Television includes EastEnders (BBC), Epiphany (ITV) and Shameless (Channel 4).

Imogen Doel will play Paroles, returning to The Globe after appearing in The Taming of the Shrew last year. Imogen’s recent theatre credits include Kanye the First (Hightide), Twelfth Night (National Theatre), The Seagull (Corn Exchange), The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville Theatre), The Get Out and Gastronauts (Royal Court). Television work includes Happy Toys (BBC) and Misfits(Channel 4).

George Dumaine will be played by Buchan Lennon. Buchan’s recent theatre credits include Ding Dong(Traverse), Stand For ItThe Soul in the Machine (Saltmine) and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Royal Lyceum). Television work includes Armchair DetectivesStill Game (BBC) and Lovesick (Netflix).

Edward Dumaine will be played by Shaun Mason. Shaun’s recent theatre work includes Oliver Twist(Regent’s Park), This Bitter Earth – Black Lives Black Words (Bush Theatre), Romeo and Juliet(Sheffield Crucible) and Feed the Beast (Birmingham Rep). Television credits include Trollied (Sky), Rellik (BBC) and Cilla (ITV).

Rob Pickavance will play Lafeu. Rob’s recent stage credits include the role of Mr Twit in The Twits(Curve), The Master BuilderJames and the Giant Peach (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Globe’s touring production of Much Ado About Nothing. Television work includes A Study in Time (BBC) and Coronation Street (ITV).

The full cast comprises Paige Carter, Nigel Cooke, Imogen Doel, Martina Laird, Buchan Lennon, Louisa Mai Newberry, Shaun Mason, Will Merrick, Rob Pickavance, Hannah Ringham and Ellora Torchia.

Shakespeare’s Globe announces full casting for Anders Lustgarten’s new play ‘The Secret Theatre’ in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the full cast for the world premiere of Anders Lustgarten’s The Secret Theatre in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse directed by Matthew Dunster. As the nation’s relationship with Europe deteriorates and civil unrest grows, Elizabeth I’s spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, adopts extreme tactics to keep his queen and country safe. Set in a world of espionage, double-crossing and blackmail, The Secret Theatre asks what we are prepared to sacrifice to ensure our safety.

Aidan McArdle will play Sir Francis Walsingham. Previous theatre work includes School for Scandal (Barbican), The White Devil (Menier Chocolate Factory), There Came a Gypsy Riding (Almeida), Great Expectations (Bristol Old Vic) and Anthony and Cleopatra(RSC). Television credits include The Fall (BBC), Humans (Channel 4), Sense 8 (Netflix), Mr Selfridge (ITV) and Quirke (BBC). Film credits include The Duchess, Me and Orson Welles, Killing Bono and Late Bloomers.

Tara Fitzgerald will play Elizabeth I, returning to the Globe after appearing as Lady Macbeth in 2016. Tara’s recent stage credits include Gaslight (Northampton Royal), The Winter’s Tale (RSC), Broken Glass (West End), and A Doll’s House (Donmar). Screen credits include Churchill’s Secret (ITV), The Musketeers (BBC), Legend, Child 44 and Exodus: Gods and Kings. She recently played the role of Selyse Baratheon in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Abraham Popoola will play John Ballard, having appeared as Badvoc in the Globe’s production of Boudica this summer. He also won Best Actor in The Stage Debut Awards last month. Previous theatre work includes Othello (English Touring Theatre) and TheCrossings Plays (Royal Court). The role of Pooley will be played by Edmund Kingsley. Edmund’s previous stage work includes Seven Acts of Mercy, Hecuba (RSC), The Keepers of Infinite Space (Park Theatre) and Dangerous Corner (Salisbury Playhouse). Television work includes Jekyll & Hyde, Breathless (ITV) and Life in Squares (BBC). Film credits include Madness in the Method, Interlude in Prague, Hernalsian Elysium and An Ordinary Man.

Cassie Layton will play Frances. Cassie’s credits include Persuasion (Royal Exchange), Macbeth (Young Vic), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare’s Globe), and Lovesick (Netflix). Radio work for the BBC includes Home Front, Cassandra at the Wedding, Pilgrim, Chiwawa, Clayton Grange and The Pursued. Colin Ryan will play the role of Phelippes. Colin’s recent theatre credits include Snow in Midsummer, Volpone, Love’s Sacrifice, The Jew of Malta (RSC), MacbethThe Lightning Child (Shakespeare’s Globe). Television work includes Doctor Who (BBC). Ian Redford will play Sir William Cecil, Topcliffe and Palmer. He last appeared at the Globe in 2010’s Romeo & Juliet. Other theatre credits include Antigone (Royal Exchange), Branded (Old Vic) and All My Sons (Leicester Curve). His screen credits include King Charles III (BBC), New Tricks (BBC), Party Animals (BBC) and Coronation Street (ITV).

The full cast comprises Tara Fitzgerald, Edmund Kingsley, Cassie Layton, Sam Marks, Aidan McArdle, David Partridge, Abraham Popoola, Ian Redford, Colin Ryan.

The Secret Theatre

16 November – 16 December 2017

Written by Anders Lustgarten

Directed by Matthew Dunster

Designed by Jon Bausor

Press Night: Wednesday 22 November

Shakespeare’s Globe


Phone               +44 (0) 20 7401 9919

In person          Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (8pm on performance days)

Sundays           10am-5pm (7pm on performance days)


Tickets               £5 – £45 (Globe Theatre) £10 – £62 (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)

Barrie Rutter to play The Emperor in Shakespeare’s Globe’s and Northern Broadsides’ co-production of The Captive Queen

Barry Rutter
Barry Rutter

Barry Rutter

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced that Barrie Rutter will play the role of The Emperor in his forthcoming production of The Captive Queen, a Shakespeare’s Globe and Northern Broadsides co-production in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

In addition to his career as an actor in the National Theatre and the RSC, Barrie is best known as the founder of multi-award-winning touring company Northern Broadsides. Based in the historic Dean Clough in West Yorkshire, the company has built up a formidable reputation, with a repertoire combining Shakespeare, European and English Classic plays, as well as new writing. Productions are noted for their distinctive northern voice, strong musicality and clear narrative journey.

On stage, Barrie has played roles ranging from Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Prospero in The Tempest (Northern Broadsides) to Hobson in Hobson’s Choice(Sheffield Crucible) and Napoleon in Animal Farm (National Theatre). He is currently touring in the Northern Broadsides production of For Love or Money by Blake Morrison. Barrie’s television credits include PorridgeThe Liver Birds (BBC) and Fat Friends (ITV). In 2003, Barrie won the Sam Wanamaker Award, and in 2015, he received an OBE for services to the arts. The Captive Queen will mark his final production with Northern Broadsides, where he will step down as Artistic Director in April 2018.

A reimagining of John Dryden’s Restoration drama Aureng-zebe (1675), The Captive Queen is set in the woollen mills of the North of England in the late 20th century, but retains a flavour of Dryden’s original Mughal Indian setting. An ageing Emperor and his Governor rage at the loss of their youth and beauty, whilst two fratricidal sons are spurred from victory in war to the warfare of love. All four are besotted with the same captive queen in this wry exploration of the folly of old age, the allure of power, and the bewildering effects of lust and desire.

The Captive Queen

2 February – 4 March 2018

Directed by Barrie Rutter

Designed by Jessica Worrall

Composed by Niraj Chag

Press Night: Wednesday 7 February

Northern Broadsides is a unique theatre company with a true northern voice. Its work is characterised by a high degree of theatrical inventiveness and robust performances from a large ensemble cast of multi-talented and charismatic northern actors who all perform in their natural voices. For the past 25 years, it has delighted audiences here and abroad with a growing classic repertoire that has won the company many awards and a loyal following worldwide.

Gina McKee to play Boudica in new production at Shakespeare’s Globe

Gina McKee

Gina McKee

Gina McKee

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced that Gina McKee will be playing the title role in Eleanor Rhode’s forthcoming production of Tristan Bernays’ new play Boudica, opening Friday 8 SeptemberThe final production of Emma Rice’s Summer of Love season, Boudicacharts the story of one of Britain’s most famous warrior queens.

Gina McKee is well-known for a huge range of roles across stage and screen, having appeared in award-winning films such as Notting HillAtonement and In The Loop, and television dramas such as Line of Duty (BBC), Vera (ITV), Hebburn (BBC), The Borgias(Showtime) and most recently, Emerald City (NBC). On stage, she played Queen Elizabeth in Jamie Lloyd’s Richard III at Trafalgar Studios, Goneril in Michael Grandage’s King Lear at the Donmar Warehouse and Anne in Lyndsey Turner’s Faith Healer at the Donmar Warehouse last year.

Joan Iyiola will play Boudica’s daughter, Alonna, having starred in Omeros at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (2015). Other theatre credits include The Convert (Gate Theatre), They Drink It In The Congo (Almeida), You’re so Relevant (Young Vic) and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (RSC). Recent television work includes Black Earth Rising (BBC/Netflix), NewBlood (BBC) and Yonderland (Sky). Blodwynn, also Boudica’s daughter, will be played by Natalie Simpson. Natalie’s recent theatre work includes The Cardinal (Southwark Playhouse), King LearCymbelineHamlet (RSC) and Measure for Measure (Young Vic).

Forbes Masson will play Cunobeline. Recent theatre credits include Terror (Lyric Hammersmith), Travesties (Menier Chocolate Factory/Apollo Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre Royal Bath), Doctor Faustus (Duke of York’s Theatre), Mr Foote’s Other Leg(Hampstead/Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Ruling Class and Richard III (Trafalgar Studios). Screen credits include Catastrophe (Channel 4), DoctorsShetlandDead Water and My Life Story (BBC). Anna-Maria Nabirye will play the role of Andraste. Recent theatre credits include They Drink It In The Congo (Almeida), Les Blancs (National Theatre), Medea: A Solo Adaptation (The Faction) and Kampala (The Arcola). Screen credits include Misfits (E4), Collateral and Waterloo Road (BBC).

Samuel Collings will be playing the role of Catus Deciamus, returning to the Globe after appearing in The Inn at Lydda last year. Other theatre credits include Waiting for God(Tour/Seabright productions), Fitzrovia Radio Hour’s A Christmas Carol (The Vaults), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (USA Tour/AFTLS) and Macbeth (Omnibus). Television credits include New Tricks (BBC). Clifford Samuel will play Suetonius, having starred in the Globe’s production of The Lightning Child (2013). Other theatre work includes Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes (Park Theatre), The Events (Young Vic) and One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show(Tricycle Theatre). Television credits include McMafia and Holby City (BBC).

The full cast comprises Bethan Clark, Samuel Collings, Owen Findlay, Jenny Fitzpatrick, Kate Handford, Joan Iyiola, Brian Martin, Forbes Masson, Gina McKee, Anna-Maria Nabirye, Abraham Popoola, Clifford Samuel, Natalie Simpson and Tok Stephen.







Shakespeare’s Globe announces full casting for Tanika Gupta’s Lions and Tigers

Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced casting for the world premiere of Tanika Gupta’s new play Lions and Tigers, directed by Pooja Ghai. Based on the true story of Tanika’s great uncle and freedom fighter Dinesh Gupta, Lions and Tigers will open on 23 August in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse as part of Shakespeare’s Globe’s Festival of Independence, which Tanika has curated.

Shubham Saraf will be playing Dinesh. A recent graduate, Shubham’s credits while training include Notoriously AbusedBalm in GileadThe Imaginary MisogynistGreat ExpectationsThe Crucible and As You like It (Guildhall School of Music & Drama). Film credits include OverlordThe CutHonour and Suspension of DisbeliefEsh Alladi will take the role of Gandhi. Esh’s recent theatre credits include Nell Gwynn (Shakespeare’s Globe / ETT), The Beaux StratagemBehind the Beautiful ForeversRomeo and Juliet (National Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Wolsey Theatre), The House of Inbetween (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and Wit (Royal Exchange).

The role of Bimala will be played by Sudha Bhuchar. Sudha’s theatre credits include Khandan (Birmingham Rep / Royal Court), Zindabad (Gate Theatre), Lotus Beauty (Gate Theatre), Sweet Cider (Arcola Theatre) and A Fine Balance (Hampstead Theatre). Television credits include Coronation Street (ITV), The Living and the Dead (BBC), Doctors (BBC), The Enfield Haunting (Sky) and Vera (ITV). Film credits include Mary Poppins ReturnsThe Magnificent Eleven, and All in Good Time. Radio work for the BBC includes In The Bonesetter’s Waiting RoomTommies and An Everyday Story of Afghan Folk.

Raj Bajaj will play Badal, returning to the Globe after appearing in A Merchant of Venice last year. Other theatre credits include East is East (Northern Stage), Bend It Like Beckham(Phoenix Theatre), Treasure Island (National Theatre), and Romeo and Juliet (Home). Shalini Peiris will play the role of Kamala. Shalini’s previous theatre work includes The House Of In Between (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Macbeth (Tara Arts), Little Stitches(Theatre 503 / Arcola Theatre), Drawing the Line (Hampstead Theatre), Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi (Arcola Theatre) and The Snow Queen (Trestle Theatre). Film credits include Justice LeagueNHS MaternityTwelfth Night and The Huntsman: Winter’s War.

Tony Jayawardena will play Subhash Bose and Jyotish, having starred in the Globe’s production of Twelfth Night this summer. Other theatre credits include Bend it like Beckham: The Musical (West End), The TempestThe Roaring GirlsThe Arden of FavershamThe White Devil, The Empress (RSC) and Wah! Wah! Girls (Sadler’s Wells / Kneehigh). Screen credits include The Windsors (Channel 4), Strikeback (Sky 1), and A Street Cat Named BobJaz Deol plays Nehru and Binoy. Theatre credits include Linda (Royal Court), Speed (Kali Theatre Company) and The Djinns of Eidgah (Royal Court). Recent television work includes Love Lies and Records (BBC), The Halcyon (ITV) and Together (BBC). Film credits include RonnieViceroy’s House and The Show.

Jonathan Keeble will play Tegart and Irwin. Previous theatre credits include Lady Anna: All At Sea (Bath Theatre Royal), Anna Karenina (Royal Exchange / West Yorkshire Playhouse), To Kill a MockingbirdEdward II, The Lady From The Sea (Royal Exchange), Stage Frightand The Merchant of Venice (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds). Radio work for the BBC includes Sylvia’s LoversTrial By LaughterUtopiaA Little Twist of DahlClosely Observed TrainsCyrano de BergeracDead Clever and Further From Heaven.

Swann, Mills (and other parts) will be played by Adam Best. Recent theatre work includes Twelfth NightThe Plough and The StarsThe Silver Tassie (National Theatre), This Restless House (Glasgow Citizens Theatre) and The Deep Blue Sea (Watermill Theatre).

Tanika Gupta MBE is an award-winning playwright and curator of Shakespeare’s Globe’s Festival of Independence, which honours those who have fought for independence, and those who continue to do so across the world today. Pooja Ghai is a director and actor, and is currently an Associate Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

The full cast comprises Shubham Saraf, Esh Alladi, Sudha Bhuchar, Raj Bajaj, Shalini Peiris, Tony Jaywardena, Jaz Deol, Jonathan Keeble and Adam Best.

Shakespeare’s Globe announces one-off music gig from Plan B

Ben Drew
Ben Drew

Ben Drew

Shakespeare’s Globe has  announced that Ben Drew, better known as Plan B, will take over the Globe Theatre on Monday 24 July for a live music gig. Tickets will go on general sale at 10am this Friday 16 June.

Plan B unveiled his video for new track In the Name of Man last week, and is due to release his long-awaited fourth studio album later this year. His performance marks the latest in a series of unique gigs at the Globe which saw Mercury Prize nominee Róisín Murphy perform live on stage in 2016. Shakespeare’s Globe will continue to welcome genre-defining artists this summer, with BRIT and Ivor Novello Award winner Plan B and Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Nitin Sawhney both set to appear in the open-air theatre in July and August respectively.

A maverick figure in the world of music, Ben Drew’s incendiary debut album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words broke new ground for UK hip hop in 2006. His sophomore album The Defamation Of Strickland Banks married soul and hip hop with great success, selling over 1.4 million copies in the UK. His 2012 directorial debut (and accompanying album) iLLManors boldly addressed socio-political issues with his often brutal cultural commentary, seeing Ben nominated for his fifth BRIT Award, and once again hitting #1 in the UK album chart.


Plan B

Globe Theatre
24 July8pm
£50, £45, £30, £20, £25 standing


Nitin Sawhney

Globe Theatre
21 August8pm
£50, £45, £30, £20, £35 standing


Shakespeare’s Globe


Phone               +44 (0) 20 7401 9919

In person          Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (8pm on performance days)

Sundays           10am-5pm (7pm on performance days)



Shakespeare’s Globe announces full casting for Matthew Dunster’s Much Ado About Nothing

Matthew Dunster
Matthew Dunster

Matthew Dunster © Johan Persson

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the casting for Matthew Dunster’s Much Ado About Nothing. Set in revolutionary Mexico in 1910, the production stars Beatriz Romilly as Beatrice, Matthew Needham as Benedick, Anya Chalotra as Hero, Marcello Cruz as Claudio and Martin Marquez as Leonato.

Beatriz Romilly plays Beatrice, having previously starred in the Globe’s productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry VI Pt I, II & III, The God of Soho and Doctor Faustus. Other recent theatre includes French Without Tears (Orange Tree Theatre / ETT), After Independence (Arcola Theatre) and The Duchess of Malfi (Nottingham Playhouse). Television includes Shakespeare Uncovered: Othello (Sky Arts) and Doctors (BBC).

Beatriz Romilly

Beatriz Romilly

Benedick will be played by Matthew Needham. Matthew took the lead role in Stutterer, which won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film, and was nominated for an Ian Charleston Award for his role in Wilton Music Hall’s Brittanicus. His previous work for the Globe includes Imogen, The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus and The Knight of the Burning Pestle. He has worked extensively at the RSC, with credits including Henry IV Pt  I & II, Love’s Sacrifice, The Jew of Malta, Titus Andronicus and Candide. Other recent theatre includes The Treatment (Almeida Theatre), There is a War (National Theatre) and Shades (Royal Court).  His screen credits include Endeavour, Monroe (ITV), The Hollow Crown Part 2 and Sherlock (BBC).

Martin Marquez plays Leonato. Martin’s previous work for the Globe includes Imogen, and his other theatre credits include Before I Leave (National Theatre Wales), Husbands and Sons, Mother Courage (National Theatre), Blasted (Sheffield Crucible) and The Crucible (West Yorkshire Playhouse). His recent film credits include Dead Water, Les Miserables and The Business.

Matthew Needham

Matthew Needham

Hero and Claudio are Anya Chalotra and Marcello Cruz. A recent graduate, Anya’s credits while training include The Same Deep Water as Me, Great Expectations, The Crucible and The Merchant of Venice (Guildhall School of Music and Drama). Marcello Cruz’s recent television includes Outnumbered (BBC One). His theatre credits while training include Julius Caesar, Dealer’s Choice, Go Make You Ready, Mephisto, Richard II and The Trojan Women (Guildhall School of Music and Drama).

The role of Don Pedro will be played by Steve John Shepherd. Steve’s recent theatre includes Plastic (Theatre Royal Bath), A View from Islington North (Out of Joint), Bomber’s Moon (Trafalgar Studios), Albion (Bush Theatre) and Piaf (Donmar Warehouse / Vaudeville Theatre). His screen credits include Silent Witness, Waking the Dead (BBC), Entebbe and Star Wars Episode II. Jo Dockery will play Juana. Jo’s recent theatre credits include Any Means Necessary (Nottingham Playhouse), Great Britain (National Theatre / Theatre Royal Haymarket), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (Apollo Theatre), Timon of Athens and Antigone (National Theatre).

Dog Berry is played by Ewan Wardrop, returning to the Globe after last year’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and 946 – The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips. His other recent theatre includes Rebecca (Kneehigh / UK tour), Enron (Royal Court / Noel Coward Theatre / UK Tour), Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker! (Sadler’s Wells), The Carman (The Old Vic), Cinderella (West End) and Swan Lake (Broadway).

Matthew Dunster is an Olivier Award-nominated director, a writer and actor. His recent directing credits include Imogen at the Globe, Hangmen (Royal Court and West End), Love’s Sacrifice (RSC), The Seagull (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Liberian Girl (Royal Court). This summer his adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities will premiere at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

The full cast comprises Doreene Blackstock, Ashley Campbell, Anya Chalotra, Marcello Cruz, Oliver Cudbill, Charlie de Melo, Jo Dockery, Martin Marquez, Matthew Needham, Ammara Niwaz, Beatriz Romilly, Sarah Seggari, Steve John Shepherd and Ewan Wardrop.

Much Ado About Nothing

14 July – 15 October 2017

Directed by Matthew Dunster

Press Night: Thursday 20 July


Kevin McNally to play King Lear in Nancy Meckler’s production of Shakespeare’s great tragedy

Kevin McNally

Kevin McNally

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced that Kevin McNally will take the title role in Nancy Meckler’s forthcoming production of King Lear.

Kevin is best known for his role as Gibbs in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. His other screen credits include The Man Who Knew Infinity and the BBC’s Fleabag. On stage, he played Claudius in Michael Grandage’s Hamlet in the West End and on Broadway, David Bliss in Howard Davies’ Hay Fever in the West End, and Alan Bennett in Nick Hytner’s original production of The Lady in the Van.

Nancy Meckler is the founder and former Artistic Director of renowned theatre company Shared Experience. Her numerous productions for them include the award-winning Anna Karenina, Heartbreak House, True West, The Birthday Party, The Bacchae and Orestes. She has also directed at major venues including the RSC, Royal Court and Almeida, and is a former associate director of Hampstead Theatre and Leicester Haymarket. She became the first woman to direct a major production at the National Theatre, with Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

Shakespeare’s Globe announces the Festival of Independence

Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the Festival of Independence, honouring those who have fought for independence, and those who continue to do so across the world today. Curated by award-winning playwright Tanika Gupta MBE, the festival aims to shine a light on struggles for personal, political and artistic freedom, and includes theatre, music, poetry and dance. It features a world premiere of Gupta’s new play Lions and Tigers, directed by Pooja Ghai, in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. The festival will also feature a one-off gig in the Globe Theatre by Mobo award-winning Nitin Sawhney, a new production of Vijay Tendulkar’s revolutionary play A Friend’s Story directed by Akash Khurana, and an evening of words and music in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse with Susheela Raman, William Dalrymple, Sam Mills and Pirashanna Theverajah.

Speaking about the festival, Tanika Gupta, Curator of the Festival of Independence, said, I’m delighted to be curating the Festival of Independence this summer, the 70th anniversary of Indian independence. In our current climate it’s more important than ever to celebrate the struggles of those who have fought for an equal, fairer society. It is our job to protect that hard-won freedom, and to reiterate the need for diversity in all areas of our lives and work. I’m thrilled that the Festival of Independence will be bringing such incredible artists and important, vital stories to one of London’s greatest theatres this summer.”

Based on the true story of her great uncle and freedom fighter Dinesh Gupta, and marking 70 years of Indian independence, Lions and Tigers runs from 23 August – 16 September in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Set against the backdrop of negotiations between the leaders of the Indian National Congress, the play charts the emotional and political awakening of the 19-year-old Dinesh Gupta, as he is pitted against the British Raj. Gupta’s play is rich with details from her grandfather’s 500 page handwritten journal, along with the 92 letters written by her great uncle from his prison cell.

On 20 and 21 September, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse hosts Akash Khurana’s new production of Vijay Tendulkar’s revolutionary play, A Friend’s Story, which elicited significant public reaction when it was first performed in India in 1981. Set in and around a college campus in the Poona of the 1940s, A Friend’s Story is about three students in a complex love triangle. The play explores a theme that was still considered taboo at the time – that of two people of the same sex being in a romantic relationship. As we mark 50 years since the de-criminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, this play is a timely reminder of how far we have come, and how far we still have to go.

Along with these new productions in the Playhouse, the festival features several unique musical events. On 21 August, Mobo award-winning Nitin Sawhney will play a one-off gig in the Globe Theatre. Firmly established as an album artist, world-class producer, songwriter, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, orchestral composer and cultural pioneer, Sawhney has become a latter-day Renaissance man in the worlds of music, film, video-games, dance and theatre. After 2016’s acclaimed performance at the Royal Albert Hall and a sold-out 3 day residency at Soho’s Ronnie Scott’s, he reassembles his band of first class musicians to play work from his extensive repertoire.

On 7 June the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse hosts How Many Roads?, an evening of itinerant words and music by William Dalrymple and Susheela Raman, with Sam Mills and Pirashanna Theverajah. In their lives and work, writer William Dalrymple and singer Susheela Raman have both found unique ways of linking India, the UK and the World. Both were born in the UK; Dalrymple lives in India and has become one of its best-selling resident authors, while Raman lives in the UK and was born to South Indian parents in London, and is known as one of the most creative musicians in the global Indian diaspora. The evening includes readings and music shaped by their complementary and contrasting perspectives, and they are joined by London-born guitarist Sam Mills, and British virtuoso of South Indian percussion Pirashanna Theverajah.

The Festival of Independence will include more performances and events, which will be announced in due course.

Lions and Tigers

By Tanika Gupta

Directed by Pooja Ghai

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

23 August – 16 September 8pm

2.30pm matinee on 2, 9 & 16 August

£62, £48, £38, £32RV, £26RV, £20RV, £10 standing


A Friend’s Story

By Vijay Tendulkar

Directed by Akash Khurana

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
20 & 21 September 8pm

£35, £25 RV and £10 standing


Nitin Sawhney

Globe Theatre

21 August8pm

£50, £45, £30, £30, £35 standing


How Many Roads?

William Dalrymple and Susheela Raman
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

7 June8pm

£60 – £10


RV: Restricted View

Shakespeare’s Globe and Glyndebourne collaborate on one-off Hamlet event

Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe, in partnership with Glyndebourne, present Hamlet and the Test of Time, an evening examining the enduring appeal of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. In a one-off event hosted by Melvyn Bragg on Thursday 11 May, author Ian McEwan and actor Simon Russell Beale join composer Brett Dean, Shakespeare scholar, Ann Thompson and Executive Producer of the Globe, Tom Bird to analyse the popular fascination with Hamlet, both the play and the protagonist.

This summer Glyndebourne will stage a new opera of Hamlet by composer Brett Dean and librettist Matthew Jocelyn. Hamlet and the Test of Time will anticipate this world premiere, and look at the reinterpretation of Hamlet through different artistic media.

Hamlet is not only among the most regularly performed of all plays in the modern era, but has been realised in numerous alternative versions, from over 50 films to a dozen operas. It seems that the hold of the tortured Danish prince over our imaginations is as powerful now as it ever has been.

Panelists for Hamlet and the Test of Time include Brett Dean, composer of Glyndebourne’s new opera; Ian McEwan, author of Nutshell, a novel narrated by a character similar to Hamlet, who observes the familiar narrative unfold while still a foetus in his mother’s womb; and Simon Russell Beale, who memorably performed the title role at the National Theatre in 2000.

Also taking part are Ann Thompson, Emeritus Professor of English at King’s College, London, and co-editor of the Arden Shakespeare editions of Hamlet; and Tom Bird, Executive Producer of  Shakespeare’s Globe, and producer of the unprecedented Hamletworld tour, which, over a two-year period, staged the play in 197 countries.

In addition, there will be an in-focus discussion of the new opera, with cast principals and members of the creative team. An excerpt from the work will also be performed.

Brett Dean’s Hamlet opens at Glyndebourne on 11 June, and runs in repertoire until 8 July. Dean comes to Glyndebourne following the huge success of his previous opera, Bliss, which premiered at Sydney Opera House in 2010, and is joined by fellow Australian Neil Armfield as Director.

Hamlet will be conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, former music director at Glyndebourne and principal conductor of the London Philharmonic. The cast for the premiere production includes of some of the finest singing actors of the moment. British tenor and Glyndebourne favourite Allan Clayton performs the title role, alongside. British mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly as Gertrude. Canadian soprano Barbara Hannigan, a strong advocate of contemporary music, will make her Glyndebourne debut as Ophelia.