Shakespeare’s Globe restarts award-winning Guided Tour with visitors onstage for the first time, alongside an exciting digital festival filmed in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe restarts award-winning Guided Tour with visitors onstage for the first time, alongside an exciting digital festival filmed from the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

  • Globe Theatre tours to reopen taking visitors onstage for the first time
  • Digital festival from 21-23 August includes Romeo and Juliet director Ola Ince and actors Alfred Enoch, Rebekah Murrell, and Sargon Yelda
  • Globe shop now open online
  • Swan Bar & Restaurant takes part in Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme

After closing in March this year, the Globe Theatre opens its oak doors once more for guided tours from 21 August. As well as hearing about Shakespeare, the history of London and the renowned theatre itself, visitors will also have a once in a lifetime
chance to stand on one of the most famous stages
 in the world. Alongside costumes worn by some of the most celebrated actors to have acted at the Globe, there will also be a photography exhibition in the space from theatre photographer Marc Brenner of previously unseen backstage images taken at the Globe during lockdown. An award-winning experience for the young and the young at heart, the tour normally welcomes over 350,000 visitors a year. The Globe’s online shop has now reopened.

Neil Constable, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s Globe, said: “As an independent charity that currently receives no government subsidy, our hope is that any income raised from this festival will help support the Globe, artists and practitioners, as we all continue to look for new ways to share our work. After being closed for five months, reopening for our wonderful guided tours, giving access to the stage to our visitors for the first time, and the opening of our online shop and the Swan Bar & Restaurant are all ways in which we hope to welcome more and more people back through our doors to safely enjoy culture and experience in our iconic theatre before we are in a position to start performances again.”

Tours will be running seven days a week with six tours a day until 20 September. Tickets must be pre-booked online for time slots to allow for social distancing. The tours happen outside, and precautions due to Covid-19 include hand sanitising stations, deep cleaning of toilets, face shields for the Globe Guides, and further systems to ensure social distancing. The open-air theatre is following all recommended safety measures amending normal operation of the tours to fit with all Covid-19 restrictions.

Online from 21 – 23 August, the Globe launches its first ever digital festival about Shakespeare and Race featuring a new two-part documentary about Romeo and Juliet, monologues from celebrated writers, a panel discussion, a brand-new season of the podcast ‘Such Stuff’, and workshops for 8-14-year olds.

‘Behind Closed Doors: Romeo
and Juliet’ 
gives a sneak peek into the
world of the rehearsal room where Director 
Ola Ince and actors Alfred Enoch, Rebekah Murrell, and Sargon Yelda gathered (socially distanced) in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse for an honest conversation about Shakespeare, race, beauty, and mental health in the play and the impact this has on them as artists and the audience.

On Saturday 22 August at 7.30pm, a series of new writing ‘Notes to the Forgotten She-Wolves’ celebrates history’s forgotten and unsung women and features three mo ologues from ground-breaking playwrights Nicôle Lecky, Winsome Pinnock and Amanda
These stories write back into history Bessie Coleman, the first woman and person of colour to hold a pilot’s licence; Una Marson, the first
woman of colour to broadcast for the BBC; and Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner, a woman of colour who invented the sanitary belt.

Shakespeare’s Globe announces new digital content, free films, Mark Rylance’s ‘Shakespeare Walks’, and online support for students.

-New digital contentShakespeare & Love in Isolation featuring Sandi and Jenifer Toksvig and Kathryn Hunter

– Six free films, The Complete Walk, and international productions from Globe to Globe Festival hosted free on Globe Player

 ‘Shakespeare Walks’ with Mark Rylance to take place on Shakespeare’s Birthday

–  1/3 of ticket bookers have donated; new Gift Voucher introduced to support the future of the Globe

 Higher Education and Research team providing online content to support students learning at home

 Podcast ‘Such Stuff’ to feature Michelle Terry and Paul Ready’s Shakespeare Diaries

Shakespeare’s Globe has been preparing a raft of new digital content to continue to engage its audiences with Shakespeare’s works. Shakespeare & Love in Isolation will see artists, in times of solitude and from their place of sanctuary, sharing some of the greatest words ever written. The series will be released as soon as possible, and artists involved include national treasure and creative team behind Christmas at the (Snow) Globe Sandi Toksvig and Jenifer Toksvig, and award-winning actress and director Kathryn Hunter. The video-on-demand platform Globe Player will host free content including six filmed productions, 37 short films from ‘The Complete Walk’, and titles in a multitude of languages from the 2012 Globe to Globe festival. The podcast ‘Such Stuff’ will broadcast with brand new features, including Michelle Terry and Paul Ready’s Shakespeare Diariesin which the two actors discuss some of their favourite plays and why art, theatre and Shakespeare remain important in times of global crisis. Whilst a physical gathering may not be possible, after 27 years of its success, the organisation is still endeavouring to find a way to host the beloved ‘Shakespeare Walks’ with Mark Rylance in celebration of Shakespeare’s Birthday on 23rd April.

The Globe is a registered charity receiving no public subsidy and has asked ticket bookers of cancelled performances to donate the cost of their ticket to help the theatre survive the most challenging of times. Over 1/3 of bookers have already chosen to donate, and the organisation will launch a Gift Voucher this week, allowing people to support the organisation and to give the gift of the Globe valid for future purposes even when the doors are closed. As previously announced, Shakespeare’s Globe is closed to the public until further notice, ceasing performances, education activities and tours. The organisation hopes to open again in early July, if it is safe to do so.

Michelle Terry, Artistic Director, said:
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”
“Nature has certainly touched all of our lives in recent months. Whilst everything seems so uncertain, one thing we know for sure is that the world will never be the same again. In 1599, when Hamlet stood on a “distracted Globe” and uttered the words: Now I am alone – he would have been surrounded by up to 3,000 people. Now we are alone, but we are also in the company of billions, from all around the globe, finding the most inspiring ways to be alone, together. In these times of isolation, we will continue to reach people on our ‘distracted Globe’, providing community, joy, and wonder, remaining, albeit digitally for now, a place of connection for us all.”

From Monday 6 April, six Shakespeare’s Globe productions will be available to watch for free on the theatre’s video-on-demand service, Globe Player. The free films will rotate every two weeks, one at a time, including: Hamlet (2018), Romeo & Juliet (2009), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), The Winter’s Tale (2018), The Two Noble Kinsmen (2018) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019). The Globe Player will also host all 37 ‘Complete Walk’ short films for free. These films celebrated the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, with an all-star cast in 10-minute short films shot on location in the real setting of each plot. Also hosted for free will be all 34 Globe to Globe titles. These were filmed throughout the Globe to Globe festival of 2012, bringing together artists from all over the world, to enjoy speaking these plays in their own language on the Globe stage. In line with the dedication to Access shown in live performance, all Globe Player productions are captioned. The podcast ‘Such Stuff’ will also be accessible to visually impaired people, and all episodes are transcribed.

Patrick Spottiswoode, Director of Globe Education, said: “Since we opened in 1997, we have explored ways of sharing the wonder of the Globe with people who may not be able to visit the theatre for themselves. Our online activities, classes and research materials will help in some way to keep our Globe doors open for all, whether primary children, post-graduates, or pensioners. Our theatre closed during the run of the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production Macbeth, with over 33,000 students having watched the production, but sadly a further 15,000 missing out. I am so proud that the educational activities of the Globe can adapt online to keep providing the best access to our excellent provisions until we can open the doors again.

For students studying Shakespeare at home, the Globe’s Learning team has developed a wealth of activities, including ‘Teach Shakespeare’, helping to support parents who are home-schooling. Other activities online such as ‘The Globe Playground’ are suitable for younger children, and ‘Staging It!’ for budding directors, allows users to direct scenes online.

As Universities have taken their teaching online, the Globe’s Higher Education and Research team are creating and providing online content in the form of lectures, workshops and resources to support students learning at home. The Globe and King’s College London’s joint MA is newly being taught online, with students being recruited for next academic year. A collaborative doctoral student with King’s College will be joining the Globe later this year.

The Globe’s podcast ‘Such Stuff’ will be broadcasting new content from Tuesday 31 March, opening with an episode on the film ’10 Things I Hate About You’. Host Imogen Greenberg will continue to bring Shakespeare and the Globe’s work to life for listeners with a collection of episodes spanning sonnets from the Love in Isolation project, new writing venture Metamorphoses, and Shakespeare-inspired books and films. Brand new features will include Michelle Terry and Paul Ready’s Shakespeare Diariesin which the two actors discuss some of their favourite plays and why art, theatre and Shakespeare remain important in times of global crisis, and exclusive interviews with the Globe’s Scriptorium writers (Sami Ibrahim, Laura Lomas, and Sabrina Mahfouz) on writing in isolation.

A new one-woman show from a Mohegan theatre-maker at Rich Mix and Shakespeare’s Globe as part of Origins Festival 2019

Madeline Sayet

In 2015, Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet travelled to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare, but her voyage across the ocean became an unexpected journey of transformation. Riding the spirit wind of her Mohegan ancestors who crossed the Atlantic in the 1700s on diplomatic missions to protect her people, Where We Belong is a search for belonging in a globalized world. It is at once a rich investigation into the impulses that divide and connect us as people, but it is also about a wolf that learns how to become a bird and fly.

Where We Belong is a solo performance, written in response to Madeline’s time in the UK, studying Shakespeare. Her indigenous response to Shakespeare was not well understood, leading her to abandon the course – just as the Brexit vote was suggesting further British disengagement from a wider world. Where We Belong is a challenging piece, which Madeline will perform at Rich Mix and at Shakespeare’s Globe as part of their Refugee Week event, responding to questions of migration and belonging.

Madeline Sayet is a theatre director of Mohegan heritage. She was recently named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List in the Hollywood & Entertainment category, is a TED Fellow, a MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, and a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award for her work as a director, writer, performer & educator.

Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival is a multidisciplinary festival showcasing the very best artistic work from First Nations communities across the globe, including indigenous Australians, Native Americans (North and South), Maori, Pacific Islanders and Inuit. The festival will bring theatre, dance, music, ceremony, visual arts, workshops, screenings & talks, as well as an extensive programme of participation & learning to London, with a strong emphasis on reaching new, diverse participants & audiences.

Title Where We Belong

Writer/Performer Madeline Sayet

Director Mei Ann Teo

Performance Dates June 14th 2019 – June 16th 2019, Rich Mix (9pm)

June 17th 2019, Shakespeare’s Globe (6pm)

Venue Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT

Running Time 60 mins

Ticket Price £12/10 (Rich Mix), £10/5 (Shakespeare’s Globe)

Box Office Rich Mix (

Shakespeare’s Globe (


Shakespeare’s Globe Annual Review: outlining activities from Spring 2018 – Spring 2019

Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced that turnover for the year ending 31 October 2018 was £24 million, providing a surplus of £374,000 to be reinvested in the continuing development of the organisation. The Globe continues to operate without public subsidy, and almost 90% of income is generated by mission-based and commercial activities, the remaining 10% garnered from corporate partnership support and donations. Theatre ticket sales and admission charges generate almost three quarters of income, yet over 40% percent of tickets are only £5.

Michelle Terry, Artistic Director, said: “To make art and culture that is truly accessible for all, both on and off our stages, takes huge investment. Of course, financial investment, but also investment of time. Time to listen and to learn, and then more time to convert lessons into knowledge, understanding and most importantly, action. Then we need time to fail, and time for patience and courage to try again and time to forgive when change doesn’t happen quickly enough. 

I feel very proud to be part of an organisation that is committed to trying and failing and learning and trying again. An organisation prepared to invest in a redefinition of success which is as much about human development and capacity as it is about financial growth, as much about process as it is about product and an organisation that feels keenly its obligation to our local, national and international communities.” 

Patrick Spottiswoode, Director, Globe Education, said: “As more and more cuts are made to education and cultural activities across the UK, there has never been a more important time to have a robust offering to schools, and any age group wanting to interact with Shakespeare’s  work. Our annual Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production provides 20,000 free  tickets to London and Birmingham secondary school students. Our flagship MA with King’s College is now 18 years old and is the most popular Shakespeare MA in the country. Our inhouse research faculty stands at the forefront of Shakespeare scholarship, and our team of Globe Education Practitioners are sharing approaches to teaching Shakespeare in the classroom in schools across the world. The education offering at Shakespeare’s Globe goes from strength to strength, providing access to Shakespeare to everyone from preschool to pensioner.” 

Michelle Terry’s first summer season as artistic director boasted 89% maximum capacity across a total of 11 productions, 272 performances, with 364,422 theatre-goers choosing the Globe. Highlights included Emilia, commissioned by Michelle, being transferred for a celebrated West End run, and a sell-out production of Othellostarring Mark Rylance and André Holland (start of the Oscar-winning film Moonlight). In total,1,005,003 people visited The Globe and Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, education events and Exhibition and Tour, and another 4.5 million people engaged with the Globe digitally through filmed productions and the website.

The Globe aims to reflect the diversity of the UK, and particularly Southwark, both on stage and behind the scenes. The acting companies all achieved a 50:50 gender split and were  representative of the BAME population of London. In Michelle’s first winter season, Richard  II was the first ever company of women of colour in a Shakespeare play on a major UK stage.  The upcoming Henry V stars Sarah Amankwah, the first woman of colour to take the role on a  major UK stage. The number of Deaf and disabled actors performing on our stages increased  to 5%. Deaf actor, Nadia Nadarajah (Celia in As You Like It), was awarded Best Supporting  Actress in a New Production of a Play in the 2018 BroadwayWorld UK Awards.

The Education department, led by Patrick Spottiswoode, staged Much Ado About Nothing for the twelfth Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank. This production for schools played to over 24,000 students, of whom 20,000 were given free tickets to the show. As usual, for many this was their first experience of a  Shakespeare performance. There were fewer schools’ visits for workshops this year owing to ever increasing budgetary pressures and cuts to creative education, however, participation grew with 139,248 students and participants engaging with the work.

Shakespeare & Race, devised in association with the Folger Shakespeare Library and complementing the production of Othello, brought international scholars to Bankside and highlighted the importance of race to the consideration of Shakespeare not only in his time, but more importantly in our own. Another successful public event of discussions, staged readings and talks, Shakespeare and Censorship, marked the half-century since the Theatres Act began its official journey towards overturning censorship on the UK stage.

A single small ensemble company took three comedies – Twelfth NightThe Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew – from the Globe stage to six countries and 20 cities. For the first time, there were a number of highly popular ‘voters’ choice’ performances, allowing the audience to decide on the day which play to see. Education work in conjunction with the tour was well received in China, establishing an ongoing teacher training initiative and a research project to be undertaken at Beijing University

Farinelli and the King, Claire van Kampen’s play first performed in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in 2014 and starring Mark Rylance, enjoyed a highly successful run at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway. The production was co-produced with the Globe, Sonia Friedman Productions and Paula Marie Black, and garnered five Tony Award nominations, including Best New Play, and for a time was the best-selling play on Broadway.

Backstage, a new ‘People Plan’ is setting objectives to reduce the gender pay gap and establish new policies for respectful working – including a new harassment policy and clearer reporting channels – and creating staff-led Diversity and Inclusion forums. The Globe also became strategic partners with PIPA (Parents in Performing Arts) and trialled new rehearsal schedules to provide more flexible working conditions for families. In order to encourage openness with mental health, staff were engaged in a programme of advice and events for Mental Health Awareness at Work and the Globe recruited their first cohort of Mental Health First Aiders. The first apprenticeship training programme, supported by a Pathways Co-Ordinator and funding from ICAP, led to four apprentices graduating in September from the year-long programme.

Assisted performances for those with sensory requirements increased from 18 (2017 Globe season) to 38 (2018 Globe season), and the Shakespeare’s Telling Tales literary festival was supported with sign language for the first time. Relaxed Performances for every production continued with great success this year.

Neil Constable, Chief Executive, said: “Following severe cuts to the support of arts in schools, and general uncertainty around Brexit, the macro-economic challenges faced this year have been substantial. However, we have implemented organisational changes for the next financial year to ensure our future  resilience and sustainability. I’m proud that despite these challenges, the Globe’s work has gone from  strength to strength, offering successful and critically-acclaimed theatre productions, first-rate educational  activities, and an enduring commitment to improving inclusion and diversity.”

More2Screen brings the magic of Shakespeare’s Globe to cinema screens nationwide with the live broadcast of The Merry Wives of Windsor

More2Screen has announced that the Shakespeare’s Globe production of the hilarious The Merry Wives of Windsor will be broadcast live to over 325 cinemas across the UK and Ireland on Thursday 20 June 2019 at 7.20pm. The production stars Bryony Hannah as Mistress Ford, best-known from BBC One’s Call the Midwife.

The live broadcast from Shakespeare’s Globe will transport the cinema audience into the ‘Wooden O’, the building for which Shakespeare wrote his plays. It is believed that The Merry Wives of Windsor was written on the request of Elizabeth I, who loved Falstaff in Henry IV so much that she asked Shakespeare to write a play about the disreputable knight falling in love. Directed by Elle While, this new production will be staged with a vibrant background of 1930s and Elizabethan design created by Charlie Cridlan.

Director Elle While said: “Our madcap The Merry Wives of Windsor has everything from mischief and disguises, to lust and love, with lots of hilarity in between. The sumptuous design will include living plants, bringing the natural world into the Globe. We are thrilled to be sharing our uproarious show across the nation this summer, bringing the magic of Shakespeare’s Globe live to cinema screens.”

Bryony Hannah, a familiar face from her role as Cynthia Miller in BBC One’s Call the Midwife, will play Mistress Ford. Bryony’s recent credits include The Children’s Hour (Comedy Theatre), for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award, Blurred LinesEarthquakes in London (National Theatre), Unforgotten (ITV), and Cemetery Junction.

Pearce Quigley will play Falstaff. A regular at the Globe since 2011, Pearce has appeared in productions including As You Like It, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His other recent theatre credits include Simon Godwin’s The Beaux’ Stratagem (National Theatre) and The Wolf From the Door (Royal Court).

The full cast includes Hedydd Dylan, Sarah Finigan, Bryony Hannah, Richard Katz, Joshua Lacey, Forbes Masson, Anne Odeke, Jude Owusu, Pearce Quigley, Anita Reynolds, Boadicea Ricketts, Dickon Tyrrell and Zach Wyatt.

Shakespeare’s Globe announces programme for new festival, ‘Women & Power’, featuring Winsome Pinnock and Clean Break

‘Women & Power’

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the programme for ‘Women & Power’, a new festival of events opening on Sunday 12 May 2018. With performances, panel discussions, and a scholarly symposium, the festival will celebrate the work and voices of women of all backgrounds and will explore how the work of Shakespeare speaks to the current gender revolution, and how women can use Shakespearean performance to tell their own stories of oppression.

Dr Farah Karim Cooper, Head of Research at Shakespeare’s Globe and curator of the festival, commented:

“We live in a time when it is essential to interrogate the relationship women have to power and leadership in the arts, politics and education. If we ask the question are women in a position to lead? The answer is a resounding yes! If we ask the question, are there enough opportunities for women to lead in these sectors? The answer is, not really. At this festival we intend to ask why, and seek to find ways to obliterate the structures and mindsets that get in the way”.

Opening the festival on Sunday 12 May will be a celebration of Virginia Woolf’s seminal works, A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineasboth of which will be read in candlelight in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. A rallying cry to begin the festival, both texts powerfully articulate Woman’s right to intellectual and financial independence.

On Monday 13 May, Professor Clare McManus and Professor Lucy Munro will lead a one-off workshop, Engendering the Stage, in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Part of the Globe’s Research in Action series of workshops, in which actors and academics uncover the practices of the Shakespearean stage, this workshop will explore the history of gendered performance on the Renaissance stage and will illuminate the practice of playing with gender on stages across Europe.

Professor Clare McManus works on English and European Renaissance drama at the University of Roehampton, focusing on gender in the writing and performance of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and Renaissance women’s performance. She is also an editor of Renaissance plays. Professor Lucy Munro is a scholar and teacher of early modern literature at King’s College London. She is interested in presenting old texts to new audiences, and the dynamic relationship between old and new in literary cultures and their afterlives.

A panel event entitled Women & Power: Directing Theatre in the 21st Century will follow on Tuesday 14 May, with panellists including Sarah Frankcom, Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, and Globe Associate Artist Athena Stevens. Sarah and Athena have both directed plays by Shakespeare or his contemporaries, as well as directing or creating new feminist writing. They will discuss how female directors can shape the future of theatre, interrogate the place for feminism in classical theatre, and expand upon the opportunities and challenges a director’s gender presents.

Sarah Frankcom joined the Royal Exchange Theatre as Literary Manager in 2000, and has been its Artistic Director since 2008. With Royal Exchange Theatre credits including Orpheus DescendingMiss JulieA View from the BridgeWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Kes, Sarah’s career has also seen her working with the Lyric Hammersmith, the Crucible Theatre, the National Theatre and the Young Vic. Athena Stevens is an actor, writer, director and spokesperson for the Women’s Equality Party. She is a writer on attachment at the Finborough Theatre and recently wrote a female response to Doctor Faustus for the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ festival at Shakespeare’s Globe. She also wrote and starred in Schism at the Park Theatre, and is the Artistic Director of Aegis Productions Ltd in Elephant & Castle.

On Wednesday 15 May, theatre company Clean Break will join not-for-profit Southall Black Sistersas both celebrate 40 years of activism. Clean Break & Southall Black Sisters @ 40: Activism, Women and Power will bring together a selection of speakers from each organisation to discuss how we can either become activists or support activism in the fight for equality and human rights.

Clean Break was set up in 1979 by two women prisoners who believed that theatre could bring hidden stories of imprisoned women to a wider audience. The only women’s theatre company of its kind, Clean Break continues to inspire playwrights and captivate audiences with groundbreaking plays on the theme of women and crime. Founded in the same year, Southall Black Sisters aims to highlight and challenge all forms of gender-related violence against women, empower them to gain more control over their lives, and live without fear of violence. They are at the forefront of challenging domestic and gender-related violence locally and nationally, and have campaigned for the provision of proper and accountable support services to enable women and their children to escape violent relationships and live in dignity.

Bang Rome: Why Pickup Artists Read Ovid and Why It Matters is on Thursday 16 May. Classicist Donna Zuckerberg will take to the Playhouse to discuss her seminal book Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age, an exposé of how today’s alt-right men’s groups are turning disturbingly to ancient sources to promote an ideal vision of masculine life and, in some cases, to justify ignoring women’s boundaries. Donna Zuckerberg received her PhD from Princeton University in 2014 and is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Eidolon, an award-winning online publication for informal Classics scholarship.

At the end of the week, Women and Leadership: A Symposium will delve into the myriad challenges women in leadership roles face in politics, the arts, culture and academia. The day will consist of three panel discussions: Women, Culture and ArtWomen and Politics; and Women, Education and Academia.

Winsome Pinnock, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Claire van Kampen and Stella Kanu will appear on the Women, Culture and Art panel. Playwright Winsome Pinnock won the prestigious Alfred Fagon Award in 2018. Most recently, a revival of her 1987 play Leave Taking played at the Bush Theatre to critical and commercial success. Her award-winning plays include The Wind of Change (Half Moon Theatre), Picture Palace (Women’s Theatre Group) and A Hero’s Welcome (Women’s Playhouse Trust at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs). Morgan Lloyd Malcolm was commissioned by The Globe to write Emilia, which became a sell out production in summer 2018 and is now playing in the West End. It has since been optioned as a film. Morgan’s other critically acclaimed plays include Belongings and The Wasp (Hampstead/Trafalgar Studios). Claire van Kampen is a composer, playwright and a director. She served as Artistic Associate at the Globe from 1996-2006, and has continued to be the Globe Associate for early Modern Music since 2007. Claire’s playwriting debut was Farinelli and the King (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse/Broadway) and her directorial debut was Nice Fish (Guthrie Theatre). Claire directed Othello at the Globe last summer. Stella Kanu is currently Executive Producer at Ovalhouse, overseeing the artistic activities of the company as they build a new theatre and merge with the artistic and local community of Brixton. As a creative writer and performer, Stella created Africa Centre’s first Children’s Literature Festival; A List Performing Arts Festival and Southampton Live Street Arts Festival.

Baroness Kingsmill CBE and Rachel Reeves will appear on the Women and Politics panel, chaired by Dr Will ToshBaroness Kingsmill has enjoyed a diverse and varied career spanning fashion, law, business, the arts and politics. She qualified as a solicitor of the Supreme Court, and, after a 20 year legal career, was appointed Deputy Chair of the Competition Commission. In 2000 Baroness Kingsmill was awarded a CBE, and in June 2006 she was appointed to the House of Lords as a Life Peer. Rachel Reeves is Labour MP for Leeds West and former Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions. Prior to her parliamentary career, she worked as an economist. She is the author of Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon and Women of Westminster: The MPs who changed politicsDr Will Tosh is Lecturer and Research Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe. He led the Indoor Performance Practice Project (2014-16), which examined playing in the candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and coordinates the Globe’s ongoing Research in Action series of public workshops. He is the author of Male Friendship and Testimonies of Love in Shakespeare’s England and Playing Indoors: Staging Early Modern Drama in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Professor Liz Schafer and Dr Sumi Madhok will appear on the Women, Education and Academiapanel, chaired by Dr Gillian WoodsProfessor Liz Schafer is Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her publications include MsDirecting Shakespeare: Women Direct Shakespeare, performance histories of The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night and a biography of Lilian BaylisDr Sumi Madhok is Associate Professor at the Department of Gender Studies, LSE. She is the author of Rethinking Agency: Developmentalism, Gender and Rights; the co-editor of Gender, Agency and Coercion; and of the Sage Handbook of Feminist TheoryDr Gillian Woods’ research concentrates on early modern drama in its cultural and historical contexts, with a particular focus on early modern stage practice, post-Reformation religion, visual arts, nostalgia, and the representations of space.

Deep Throat Choir will take to the stage on Saturday 18 May to close the festival. The all-female singing collective will present an intimate one-off concert celebrating the power of women’s voices. Formed by Luisa Gerstein, composer of the West End transfer of the Globe’s hit production Emilia, the choir are renowned for stripping music-making to the simple components of vocals and percussion.

Nancy Medina: “There is something emotionally sad about the arts world not embracing more representative stories, because it would be a lot less rich without them.”

It is 2.30pm and today is all about Brookyn born director Nancy Medina. “I am thinking: what am I doing here? How did this happen?” she declares, laughing.

We are talking at Shakespeare’s Globe ahead of an industry reception where Medina will be presented with the Royal Theatrical Support Trust Sir Peter Hall Director Award. “A few years ago I co-directed a scene for The Sam Wanamaker Festival and I shared a photo online with the caption: ‘From the South Side to the South Bank – this Brooklyn girl has come far,” she beams.

Is she nervous? “I feel really positive and I’m very grateful, this is all very surreal,” says Medina. Her breakthrough into mid-scale regional touring theatre directing is a real cause for celebration. She is a director of colour, a parent and a woman in her thirties.

Nancy Medina in rehearsals)

Nancy Medina in rehearsals

In 2017 Nancy won the Genesis Future Director Award at the Young Vic, she has spent fifteen years on “the fringe of NY and UK”. She has lived in the UK for 10 years and says that making her mark as a director, has been, at times, an “up-hill battle”. She explains, “I was new in the theatrical landscape and it took time to find where I fit in to that. I was trying to figure out how the stories I find most meaningful can also be meaningful to audiences here,” she says.

On the subject of diversity she prefers the word “representative,” she says that she does see progress but thinks it is slow. “One of the things that we as artists struggle with is that we are trying to make meaningful work but we don’t often get that larger space for wider audiences to see it,” says Medina.

“Most stories I love tend to be universal. If you want to increase audiences and establish new audiences then you have to start showing people themselves on stage. If you want to inspire more representation across the board, you must allow space for that.”

Sir Trevor Nunn, Nancy Medina, RTST Chair Geoffrey Cass and Mark Hawes

Sir Trevor Nunn, Nancy Medina, RTST Chair Geoffrey Cass and Mark Hawes

I ask if she has ever compared her career to any of her peers. “I try not to compare myself to others, I do sympathise with directors that feel stuck. I myself have often felt that way. You have to come back to exactly why you do what you do – and the reason I do what I do is because the stories that I put on stage are everyday people – because their lives matter and because my life matters.”

How did she stay positive when she hit brick walls? “I would say: don’t worry about all that and keep going. If I don’t fit into this scene maybe the scene will fit in with me. Keep choosing the right text and collaborators, it has to be the right project for you,” Medina reasons.

We discuss further inequalities within theatre, such as gender and race and what is programmed, the size of that space and where it is produced. She says: “There is that word ‘risk’ that gets thrown around quite a lot, but there is something scary and emotionally sad about the arts world not embracing more representative stories because it would be a lot less rich without them.”

On that point, Nancy adds that it is a unique opportunity to premiere August Wilson’s Pulitzer-Prize nominated Two Trains Running for Royal and Derngate and English Touring Theatre. The play is set in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and explores changing perspectives on race. The production will tour to theatres across the UK.

 Two Trains Running – a co-production for Royal and Derngate and English Touring Theatre will run in 2019.