Rarely Played

Why not add a Rarely Played introduction to your ticket for just £5?

Learn more about each of these plays with our inspiring and engaging seminar introductions prior to our Read Not Dead performances in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Time: 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Tickets: £5


Tickets for Read Not Dead readings must be purchased separately.

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Shakespeare's Globe





(£12 FoSG/Student)


Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe



+44 (0)20 7401 9919 

Ticket Office

In Person:
Monday - Saturday
10.00am - 5.00pm

10.00am - 4.00pm


Please note, late comers may not be admitted.

  • Education/RND

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 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.


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?


Perkin Warbeck

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 to book tickets to attend our special voting event on the 28th May. 



£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)
£10 standing 







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Read Not Dead

Read Not Dead at the Globe.

Rarely Played