Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Edges of Rome: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre 2006
In his first year as Artistic Director of the Globe, Dominic Dromgoole has announced a bold programme for 2006. Four Shakespeare plays – Coriolanus, Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra and The Comedy of Errors - together with two pieces of new writing – Simon Bent’s Under the Black Flag and In Extremis by Howard Brenton - will form Shakespeare’s Globe 2006 Theatre Season.
The season’s theme, The Edges of Rome, explores the story of the Roman Empire, its reimagining in the age of Shakespeare and its continuing influence on today’s world. These four Shakespeare plays and two pieces of new writing mark a year of thrilling new beginnings for Shakespeare’s Globe.

5 May – 13 August Production photocall: 9 May at 11amPress Night: Wednesday 10 May at 7.30pmDirected by Dominic DromgooleDesigned by Mike Britton

Set against a background of strife between the powerful aristocracy and hungry citizens of the early Roman republic, Coriolanus is a visceral and politically sharp-edged play. At its centre is Caius Martius, fresh from victory over the hated Volscians, dismissive of the Roman people and, following exile, hungry for war and retribution. Brusque, muscular language conveys insistent questions about the meaning of the heroic ideal and one man’s emotional blindness.The production will employ Jacobean staging, clothing and music.

Titus Andronicus
20 May – 6 OctoberProduction photocall: 24 May at 1pmPress Night: Tuesday 30 May at 7.30pmDirected by Lucy BaileyDesigned by Rae Smith

A brutal play, with both macabre verbal wit and moments of tender poetry, Shakespeare’s first and great bloody tragedy has revolted some with its bad taste and mesmerised others with its startling confrontation of violence in all its shocking extremes. With nightmarish energy, Titus Andronicus is a story about war, mutilation, rape and murder, and the savage consequences of revenge. The production will employ Elizabethan staging, clothing and music.

Antony and Cleopatra
25 June – 8 October Production photocall: 28 June at 11.30amPress Night: Wednesday 5 July at 7.30pmDirected by Dominic DromgooleDesigned by Mike Britton

The work of a dramatist at the height of his powers, written in language of awesome poetic intensity, Antony and Cleopatra is a story of a middle-aged love affair set against a panoramic political and geographical backdrop. Following the demise of the Roman Republic and the assasination of Julius Caesar, the triumvirate of Antony, Lepidus and Octavius has emerged. But as Antony falls under the influence of the beguiling and ambiguous Egyptian queen, political tensions emerge which threaten the fate of the Roman Empire. Against a vast political stage unfolds a civil war, and one of literature’s great love tragedies.

The Comedy of Errors
22 July – 7 OctoberProduction photocall: 26 July at 11amPress Night: Tuesday 1 August at 7.30pmDirected by Chris LuscombeDesigned by Janet Bird

A Renaissance spin on a Roman story by Plautus, The Comedy of Errors is a short and boisterous comedy about ‘Errors and Confusions’. A trade war between Syracuse and Ephesus is the background to the chaotic story of estranged twin brothers (both called Antipholus) and estranged twin servants (both called Dromio). Mixing extremes of farce and romance, the increasingly hectic action is a frenzy of storms, shipwrecks, losses at sea, conjugal conflicts and creditors chasing debts, before the final restoration of sanity.

World Premiere
Under the Black Flag: The Early Life, Adventures and Pyracies of the Famous Long John Silver before he lost his legBy Simon Bent
9 July – 12 AugustProduction photocall: 13 July at 11amPress Night: Tuesday 18 July at 7.30pmDirected by Roxana SilbertDesigned by Laura Hopkins

A new play by Simon Bent (Accomplices; The Associate), Under the Black Flag is set around the historical pirate republic of Rabat, following the execution of Charles I and the installation of Cromwell and the new Commonwealth. This wild tale of high seas and low politics exposes the class hatreds and religious hypocrisy of the 17th century as John Silver and his motley crew of disaffected radicals seek freedom on the seas, under a pirate flag.The production features bare flesh and filthy language.

World Premiere

In Extremis:The Story of Abelard and HeloiseBy Howard Brenton
27 August – 7 OctoberProduction photocall: 30 August at 11amPress Night: Tuesday 5 September at 7.30pmDirector and designer details to be confirmed

Written by Howard Brenton (The Romans in Britain; Paul), In Extremis uses the love affair of Abelard and Heloise to explore the relationships between logic and religion, humanism and fundamentalism, faith and power. Set in 12th century France, the play focuses on the exploration of two types of Christianity – the mysticism and austerity of Bernard of Clairvaux, and the challenge set by a new rational philosophy extolled by the erudite, sensual and dangerously independent, Peter Abelard.

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