This summer all the world’s their stage! Shakespeare’s Globe has announced that its 2014 season, entitled Arms and the Man, will be an homage to the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and the centenary of the First World War. Four Shakespeare plays, including a revisiting of Lucy Bailey’s Titus Andronicus, will be featured along with four new works by Simon Armitage, David Eldridge, Howard Brenton and Richard Bean, respectively. A world tour of Hamlet will also commence.
The Shakespearean portion of the season at the Globe will begin April 24 with the revisiting of Lucy Bailey’s 2006 production of Titus Andronicus, followed by new productions of Antony and Cleopatra beginning May 17, Julius Caesar starting June 20 and The Comedy of Errors from August 30.
The first new work of the season is Armitage’s The Last Days of Troy, beginning June 10. The play completes the narrative of Homer’s Iliad, with Armitage’s dramatization bringing the war to a brutal conclusion. The production will be directed by Nick Bagnall, designed by Ashley Martin Davies with music by Alex Baranowski.
Up next is David Eldridge’s Holy Warriors, premiering at the Globe on July 19. Directed by James Dacre, Holy Warriors is a kaleidoscopic story of holy war and bloody revenge in the struggle for Jerusalem over two millennia of conflict. The gruesome tale takes in Richard the Lionheart’s third crusade, Hamas suicide bombings and the ancient Roman conquest of this highly-prized and much-beleaguered city.
This will be followed by Doctor Scroggy’s War, which begins on September 12. Written by Howard Brenton and directed by John Dove, the story follows 19-year-old Jack Twigg on his journey to the trenches of the First World War and back, and explores his relationship with pioneering medic Harold Gillies, the founding father of plastic surgery. The show offers a sideways look at one of the most cataclysmic periods of the twentieth century.
The final new work appearing at the Globe is Pitcairn, which will start performances September 22. Written by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors), Pitcairn shares the horrific, but brutal telling of the colonization of the remote island of Pitcairn by Fletcher Christian and the Bounty mutineers causing the spiraling descent of the colony from a new Eden of freedom and equality to a brutal dystopia. The production will be directed by Max Stafford-Clark and designed by Tim Shortall.
The Globe’s 2014 touring productions will feature a tour of Hamlet to every single continent on earth, opening in Amsterdam on April 23, the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, and ending two years later. Noted stops include Washington D.C’s Folger Shakespeare Theater and Wittenberg in Germany, where Hamlet spent his university years.