Adjoa Andoh is directing and starring in the first major production of Richard II with a company entirely made up of women of colour. Here she tells Greg Morrison about why now is the right time for this production.

Adjoa Andoh. Photo: Julian Anderson

How did this production come about?

I went to see Michelle [Terry] about a different project entirely. Richard II came up and she asked me if I’d be interested. So we talked about the idea. I was very interested in it being a play that would be running while we Brexited. There seemed to me to be a lovely congruence between this national conversation that we are having, about who we are as a nation, and the challenges that Richard wrangles with: who he is as a divinely appointed monarch and as a human being, who he is in relation…

Actor/Designer Ellie Piercy created unique hand-made uniforms for our volunteer stewards and each one contains a unique piece of Globe history.

Volunteer stewards John, Francesca and Ann

Earlier this year Shakespeare’s Globe underwent an award-winning rebrand. Drawing on the very building itself, at the heart of the design lies a deceptively simple red circle. In fact this is not a circle but a twenty-sided polygon hand-carved from a piece of oak from the original building of the theatre. The hand-printed design that later went on to become our logo has graced many things from posters to brochures, tote bags to hats and our steward’s uniforms.

As part of the rebrand we looked at all the ways in which we visually represent ourselves. When visiting the Globe our wonderful volunteer stewards are some of the first people you will meet and obviously they want to look good.

Performing Shakespeare in British Sign Language

Richard Katz, Nadia Nadarajah (Celia) and James Garnon in As You Like It, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, 2018. Photo credit: Tristram Kenton

T o celebrate International Week of the Deaf (24–30 September 2018) we have been working with Deaf audiences and theatre-makers to make Shakespeare more accessible to everyone. The Shakespeare Synopsis project aims to create a filmed synopsis for every one of Shakespeare’s plays.

We are committed to improving accessibility for all throughout our work, both on and off stage, so when we realised that there were far fewer Deaf people attending the lesser-known Shakespeare plays we wanted to talk with Deaf audience members and actors to find out why.

Director: Sophie Stone. Actors: Charlotte Arrowsmith, Ace Mahbaz. Camera: Ted Evans.

Who owns culture?

Leaphia Darko is playing Katherine in our current production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. Here she recounts ‘the worst day’ of her life in which the Globe plays a pivotal role and has the magical effect of turning around her day and her life.

Leaphia Darko (Katherine) in Love’s Labour’s Lost, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, 2018. Photo credit: Marc Brenner

I don’t really know much about how I came to stumble across Shakespeare’s Globe. The little I do know is that it was almost completely by accident. In hindsight, it was a happy one but I couldn’t have said that at the time. …

Professor Ania Loomba is the Catherine Bryson Professor of English at Penn Arts & Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. Here she gives a personal insight into Shakespeare and race.

When I arrived in Britain in the winter of 1983, I began to inhabit a body that was marked as visibly different from most others around me. For the first time in my life I was forced to think about race in the most intimate of ways. …

Deborah Frances-White is the host of podcast The Guilty Feminist, and she’s a fan of Emilia Lanier, Britain’s first female published poet.

Emilia Lanier is my favourite historical guilty feminist and Elizabethan girl-crush. She was a poet, a class warrior and a champion of women — but she knew how to party and she really went the distance. She died neither virtuous nor young. It was said she broke the record for a woman who had given birth, by living till 76. Apparently, her closest rival died at 57. Putting it into perspective, Shakespeare, her contemporary, died at 52 which…

As the Globe Ensemble’s Hamlet and As You Like It continue to delight audiences on stage, Nadia Nadarajah and Michelle Terry found time to speak to each other about Nadia’s role in the Ensemble and experiences so far.

Richard Katz, Nadia Nadarajah and James Garnon in As You Like It, Shakespeare’s Globe, 2018. Photo credits: Tristram Kenton

Michelle: Can you tell me how it’s been for you as the only Deaf person in the Globe Ensemble? How has this experience been for you?

Nadia: At the beginning, it was very nerve-wracking. Before we started, I was thinking is it worth it? What’s it going to be like? And it’s such a long commitment with the contract. But, I’m quite…

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Refugee Week. Shakespeare’s ‘Strangers’ Speech’, from The Book of Sir Thomas More, is as relevant today as it was in the Elizabethan era.

A Huguenot on St Bartholomew’s Day, John Everett Millais (1852)

‘..the right to travel, is not a privilege to be conferred on the few as an act of grace,… it is an attribute of the personal liberty of the citizen which cannot be infringed or limited except by due process of law.’
- Sam Wanamaker, Affidavit, 1957

The Book of Sir Thomas More is believed to have been written between 1590 and 1610, with the most likely date being 1601…

Dr Will Tosh explores the complicated nature of friendship in The Two Noble Kinsmen.

We recently said goodbye to The Two Noble Kinsmen company, and the foot-stompingly fabulous world of the play: part ancient Greece, part chivalric fantasy-land, and part May Day riot. The story was as rich as the setting. Famous heroes from classical mythology bumped up against apparently stock figures whose folkloric names (‘Jailer’, ‘Jailer’s Daughter’, ‘Wooer’) belied their rich and subtle characterisation. …

Like the film and theatre world, the creative design world also goes into awards mode around this time of year. The D&AD Awards, with its iconic pencil trophies, are perhaps the most prestigious.

Like the film and theatre world, the creative design world also goes into awards mode around this time of year. The D&AD Awards, with its iconic pencil trophies, are perhaps the most prestigious.

Founded in 1962 by a group of London-based designers D&AD (Design & Art Direction) is a charity that exists to stimulate, enable and award creative excellence in design and advertising. The annual awards are…

Shakespeare’s Globe

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