Mark Rylance, artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, has elected to take a lighter approach for the theatre's second full season. Summer of 1998 will see the company stage two works by the Bard and two other Renaissance comedies.
The season opens on Tuesday 19 May with previews of As You Like It and closes on Saturday 19 September with The Merchant of Venice (previewing from 20 May). The other half of the season will consist of productions of Thomas Dekker's The Honest Whore (previewing from 1 August) and Thomas Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters (previewing from 2 August).
Although set in Italy, Dekker's The Honest Whore, first performed in 1604-5, reflects the underworld of Jacobean London with a tale of two women at contrasting ends of the social scale: princess and harlot. Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters is a follow-up to the Globe's 1997 season production of the playwright's A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. It uses the comic tale of two dysfunctional families to savagely satirise London society of the 1600s.
Booking for the 1998 season starts at the beginning of February. In addition to the four comedies, the Globe Education will organise an extensive programme of activities around the theatre schedule, including actor-led 'Globe Walkshops'; question-and-answer sessions with the theatre's actors, directors, and musicians; children's workshops (age 7-11); staged readings; a series of talks entitled 'Face2Face' which will explore issues raised by the plays; and other seminars and half-day workshops.
For ticket information, contact the Globe Box Office 44-171-401-9919, fax on 44-171-902-1475. For more information on ancillary activities, contact Globe Education 44-171-902-1400.