Having marked the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare just last week, the merriment continues with three incredible new productions from The Globe Theatre headed to cinemas across the UK this summer. Presented in HD, feel like you’re watching The Tempest, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream live from the most famous theatre in the world.
After the phenomenal success of last year’s blockbuster season that included Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night, Globe on Screen 2014 endeavours to bring Shakespeare’s plays to the masses, staged how they would have been back in his day.
Last year over 2000 screenings were held in 12 countries, raking in box office revenues that grew by 300% from 2012. To date, Twelfth Night, starring Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry has proved to be the most popular Globe on Screen production, but can the next three overshadow its success on the big screen?
Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Dominic Dromgoole certainly thinks so. “Thousands of people saw these enchanting sell-out productions at the Globe last year, and we are delighted to be taking them to thousands more across the world with the latest cinema releases. From Colin Morgan’s otherworldly Ariel to Samantha Spiro’s earthy, tempestuous Lady Macbeth, 2013 was a season of dazzling performances in definitive productions of three of Shakespeare’s greatest plays.”
The 2014 season will kick off with The Tempest from Wed 28th May. Laced with the supernatural and magical, The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s later masterpieces. The double Olivier Award-winner Roger Allam returns to the Globe as Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan who has a hold on an enchanted island. Comforted by his daughter Miranda (Jessie Buckley), served by his spirit Ariel (BBC Merlin’s Colin Morgan) and his slave Caliban (James Garnon), he raises a storm to wreck the island of the brother who turned him away and his confederates, in an act of revenge.
Next up we have Macbeth from Wed 25th June. Directed by Eve Best in her début, when three witches tell Macbeth (portrayed by Joseph Milson) that he is destined to occupy the throne of Scotland, he and his wife choose to shorten their path and kill the man standing in their path, the virtuous King Duncan (Gawn Grainger). Only one death becomes another and another until, amidst great paranoia and guilt, Macbeth is to fulfil the witches prophecy. But at what cost? Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings), Harry Hepple and Finty Williams also star.
Finally A Midsummer Night’s Dream will visit screens from Tues 15th July. This joyous and inventive production of Shakespeare’s comedy will enchant audiences just as the main protagonists are. Hermia loves Lysander and Helena loves Demetrius. But Demetrius is to marry Hermia. When the Duke of Athens tries to enforce the marriage, refuge is sought in the woods, where they wander into a dispute between the king and queen of the fairies. Cast members include Michelle Terry as Titania/Hippolyta, Pierce Quigley as Bottom and John Light as Oberon/Theseus.
Tickets for the 2014 season go on sale Tues 6th May.
The new Globe on Screen season will also be released later in the year across North America, Australasia and Europe.