The five plays lined up to prove a point are Richard II, Richard III and (on the domestic front) The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, and Christopher Marlowe's Edward II and Dido, Queen of Carthage. The 2003 season also marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Elizabeth I, and the Regime Change from Tudor to Stuart.
The phrase "Regime Change" has become synonymous with the current crisis in Iraq. These five plays explore the upheaval brought about by "Regime Changes" of various sorts and question whether anything fundamental really changes at all.
Mark Rylance, the award-winning artistic director of the Globe, has said that "this season explores changes of power on three levels: in the state, in marriage and in man's relationship with the divine. Richard II, Richard III and Edward II reveal struggles between the personal affections and worldly responsibilities of the powerful.
"The Taming of the Shrew controversially explores the change from individual to married couple. And the rarely played Dido, Queen of Carthage proposes that all our changes may be responses to divine influences."
The Globe's audiences are used to seeing (authentically Shakespearean) all-male performances. This summer they are to get all-female ones, too, with Richard III and The Taming of the Shrew providing the Globe with its own acting/sexual '"Regime Change."