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.

Time: 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Tickets: £5


Tickets for Read Not Dead readings must be purchased separately.

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Read Not Dead - Before Shakespeare

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  • Education/RND_SWP3

Various dates

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

£15 | £12 FoSG & Students
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Run time: Approximately 3 hours

Please Note: Latecomers may not be admitted


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How and why did the public playhouses come to open in London in the sixteenth century?

Before Shakespeare is the first project to take seriously the mid-century beginnings of playhouses. By rethinking the earliest playhouses of this period, we remember how pioneering, unusual, and shocking these spaces were.

Join us for a series of Read Not Dead performances, forming part of the Before Shakespeare programme. This reading is also in collaboration with The Dolphin’s Back. Learn more about this project on the Before Shakespeare blog.


Sappho and Phao

Sunday 27 August, 4.00pm

By John Lyly (published 1584)

Sappho is the virginal queen of Sicily, and the goddess Venus is not happy about her virginity. So she gives the beautiful local ferry-boy, Phao, an even more beautiful make-over and causes Sappho and Phao to fall in love. But marriage between queens and ferry-boys is discouraged, and the play follows Sappho's attempts to sidestep Venus' plans for compulsory heterosexual union. Will the lovers manage to fall out of love?

Buy Tickets >>

Why not add a Rarely Played introduction?

Enrich your understanding of the plays, the playwrights and the context of early modern drama with our popular accompanying seminars. 

Time: 1.00pm – 3.00pm

Tickets: £5

Buy Tickets >>