Shakespeare's Globe

When thou reviewest this, thou dost review The very part was consecrate to thee

Sonnet 74

  • 2017/AnnualReview

Every year, we publish our annual review covering the latest achievements and accounts of Shakespeares Globe.


We’re delighted to share our 2017 Annual Review, a colourful celebration of the breadth and depth of our activities last year.

2017 marked 20 years since the royal opening of the Globe. We marked that anniversary with a special Reconstructing the Globe exhibition, but we also celebrated it by simply doing what we do every year: which is to offer year-round, whether on the stage, or in the exhibition, or as part of an education programme, the best possible experience of Shakespeare and the theatre of his time. Over 923,000 visited the Globe site this year, including a record 138,000 students (of all ages), while Emma Rice’s last Globe season achieved an overall capacity of 92% – or a share of approximately 11% of London’s play-going audience. I am grateful to the huge commitment made by our staff and volunteers and the loyalty, energy and enthusiasm of our many audiences in achieving this. The following pages pick out a few highlights from another great year on Bankside.

But 2017 was also a year in which it seemed natural to reflect on the different periods the Globe, in its eventful history, has passed through, and the different artistic values and ideas attached to those periods. The last two years have certainly been among our most eventful, but the difficulties and challenges Emma and her artistic colleagues – indeed the whole organisation – have passed through since her resignation in autumn 2016 cannot obscure the vivid character of her artistic tenure here, which has been above all festive, playful and poetic. I know she will put her unceasing energy and wonderfully active imagination at the service of her new venture, Wise Children, and we wish her well.

Finding a successor to Emma was the most important challenge the Globe had to face this year because it could not be met without a serious and searching period of reflection on our cause and direction as an organisation. Our wholly new visual identity and brand, which is now revealing itself throughout the site, online and in publications such as this review, is one outcome of this, as was, in July, the appointment of Michelle Terry as our new artistic director. I am confident that, under Michelle’s artistic leadership, we have set the Globe on a bold, but steady new course – a course already reflected in the ambitious programme for 2018. Historically inflected, but radically new; closely integrated with our other activities, but artistically distinct, our forthcoming season of plays and events ushers in a great  new era of artistic and educational endeavour on Bankside and beyond. 


You can download our current and previous annual reviews from the right-hand column.