Shakespeare’s Globe have announced that they are to release six of their plays online for theatre goers to watch for free. The theatre, which closed its doors in late March on the orders of the British Government, will release the plays on to its own streaming service, the Globe Player.
A new play will be released every two weeks, with each production available for two weeks. The initiative will begin on the 6th of April 2020 with the release of Federay Holmes and Elle White’s production of Hamlet.
The full list of productions included in the initiative are Hamlet (2018), Romeo & Juliet (2009), The Winter’s Tale (2018), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), The Two Noble Kinsmen (2018) and The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019).
In addition to the free plays, the Globe will also be releasing a selection of short films. Created to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death in 2016, the Complete Walk films feature a host of famous actors including Peter Capaldi, James Norton and Gemma Arterton. The films will also be free to view.
The Globe’s Artistic Director, Michelle Terry, said of the initiative: “In 1599, when Hamlet stood on a ‘distracted Globe’ and uttered the words: Now I am alone – he would have been surrounded by up to 3,000 people. Now we are alone, but we are also in the company of billions, from all around the globe, finding the most inspiring ways to be alone, together.
“In these times of isolation, we will continue to reach people on our ‘distracted Globe’, providing community, joy, and wonder, remaining, albeit digitally for now, a place of connection for us all.”
The Globe is also currently looking for an innovative way to host its now annual Birthday Walks Series, which celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday on the 23rd of April. The walks are an eagerly awaited event in London, but have this year fallen victim to the lockdown.
Last year’s walks saw a series of actors re-enact passages from Shakespeare for tour groups making their way to Bankside.
The Globe have also announced that one third of those purchasing tickets for this year’s productions have donated the price of those tickets to the theatre, instead of asking for a refund.
You can access Shakespeare’s Globe’s Free Programme here.
For more ways to experience London theatre during the shutdown, please click here.