Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe
+44 (0)20 7401 9919
Monday - Saturday
10.00am - 5.00pm
10.00am - 4.00pm
Please note, late comers may not be admitted.
Read Not Dead
Read Not Dead was launched in 1995 and brings actors, audiences and scholars together to explore and celebrate the plays performed in London and on its stages before 1642.
The ground-rules are simple. Actors are given a script on a Sunday morning and work with a director to get the play up on its feet – with entrances and exits, token costume and music if needed. They present it, script in hand, to an audience at 4.00pm.
These are not intended to be polished productions. However, there is a shared spirit of adventure and excitement for actors and audiences who sense that they might be uncovering a hidden gem.
The Faithful Friends
by Anon. Published c.1614.
Sunday 19 April, 4.00pm
This performance is the final Read Not Dead of the Shakespeare & Friendship season.
In Rome, best friends Marius and Marcus must use all their wiles to defeat a court conspiracy that seeks their downfall. But who can they trust – when even the King plots to seduce Marcus’s chaste wife, the beautiful Philadelphia? Once thought to be by Beaumont and Fletcher, The Faithful Friends successfully reworks the themes of some better-known Jacobean plays including The Maid’s Tragedy and Jonson’s Roman dramas.
*(Please note this performance takes place in the Sackler Studios, Shakespeare's Globe)
The John Ford Experiment
Ford is one of the most underrated playwrights of the early 17th century. He was deeply influenced by Shakespeare and almost obsessed by Othello.
This summer we present productions and staged readings of all of John Ford's solo-authored works; a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover his plays in performance.
by John Ford
Sunday 17 May, 4.00pm
Published anonymously in 1653 before later attribution to Ford, The Queen, or The Excellency of Her Sex, follows Alphonso, the leader of a failed rebellion against the Queen of Aragon, as he is condemned and sentenced to death. The Queen herself intercedes and learns that his hostility stems from a deep-rooted misogyny, and that he cannot bear the thought of being ruled by a woman. But the Queen, having fallen in love with the rebel at first sight, pardons and marries him. As she and her court struggle to persuade the new King from his bitter resentment of the fairer sex, Alphonso himself must contend with his evolving feelings for his wife before the two can be reconciled in blissful matrimony.
The Lover's Melancholy
by John Ford
Sunday 7 June, 4.00pm
Originally performed at the Globe and Blackfriars, written for The King’s Men and once attributed to Shakespeare himself, The Lover’s Melancholy (1629) makes for an exciting addition to this season’s John Ford series. Rotating around themes of forbidden desire, sexual disguise and mistaken identity, this romantic tragicomedy begins in the aftermath of a series of events that have turned Prince Palador into the melancholic lover of the title. For his betrothed, Eroclea, has fled in male disguise. The ruler of Cyprus – Palador’s father – has threatened her virtue, betraying his son and his son’s intended. In this drama of separation and struggle, can the lover’s melancholy be cured?
by John Ford
Sunday 28 June, 4.00pm
First published in 1634, The Chronicle History of Perkin Warbeck, A Strange Truth was first performed by Queen Henrietta's Men at the Cockpit playhouse in Drury Lane. The scene is England, in the aftermath of the Wars of the Roses. Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch, rules a country exhausted by civil strife. But his position is challenged by the mysterious Perkin Warbeck, who claims he is really Richard IV, one of the Yorkist princes committed to the Tower during the reign of Richard III and never seen again. Is Perkin – or Richard – really who he seems? Imposter or rightful king, Perkin sets out to claim the throne, backed by James IV of Scotland and a group of Irish followers. Ford’s exceptional history play challenges the Tudor myth, by pitting the more calculating Henry against the compassionate but ultimately ineffectual Warbeck.
The Fancies Chaste and Noble
by John Ford
Sunday 6 September, 4.00pm
Castamela, the sister of Livio, is persuaded to join the Bower of Fancies, an establishment for young women under the control of Octavio, the marquis of Siena. Livio is appalled: stories of prostitution, lesbianism and sexual extravagance convince the outside world that Octavio is running a sort of harem. But as Octavio’s nephew Troylo-Savelli reveals to Livio, the marquis is impotent: all the women within the Bower are safe from assault, and spend their time dancing and singing. Unconvinced, Livio extracts his sister and attempts to marry her to the poor but respectable Romanello. But Castamela’s reputation has preceded her, and Romanello rejects her as a whore. Will Castamela ever find a husband after her sojourn in the Bower of Fancies? First performed by Queen Henrietta’s Men in 1635-6, The Fancies Chaste and Noble is an entertaining drama of gossip, rumour and sexual double standards.
Back by Popular Demand
Sunday 4 October, 4.00pm
Join us to see which play you chose to conclude our second season in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
For your chance to vote for the play to be revived, click here for our voting event.
£15 (£12 FoSG/Students)
Henry V in Original Pronunciation
Sunday 26 July
Henry V will get its contemporary world premiere in Original Pronunciation in a staged reading by Ben Crystal’s Shakespeare Ensemble, in this the 600th anniversary year of the Battle of Agincourt.
This is the second exploration of Original Pronunciation in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse following last year’s popular Macbeth.
Click here for more Original Pronunciation events.
£22 (£15 FoSG/Student)
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Read Not Dead
Read Not Dead at the Globe.
- Sunday 17 May, 4.00pm Book tickets
- Sunday 7 June, 4.00pm Book tickets
- Sunday 28 June, 4.00pm Book tickets
- Sunday 26 July, 4.00pm Book tickets
- Sunday 6 September, 4.00pm Book tickets
- Sunday 4 October, 4.00pm Book tickets