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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Shakespeare's Globe

Read Not Dead in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

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Various dates

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare's Globe

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

Please Note: Latecomers may not be admitted


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Rare Triumphs of Love and Fortune

Sunday 14 May, 4.00pm

By Anon (published 1589)

Venus, goddess of love, and Fortune, goddess of fate and downfall, argue over their respective powers. To settle the matter, they decide to meddle in the lives of mortal men and women. Who will cause the most havoc? Descending on a royal court, the two goddesses swiftly derail the course of everyday life for the hapless courtiers under their sway.


Read Not Dead - Prose
Terrors of the Night

Saturday 20 May, 7.00pm

By Anon (published 1589)

Join us in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, as it plays host to an eerie staged reading of Thomas Nashe’s unsettling and disturbing exploration of night terrors...

For more information on this event, visit our Read Not Dead - Prose page.


Fedele and Fortunio

Sunday 18 June, 4.00pm

By Anthony Munday (published 1585)

The scene is Naples, and the subject is courtship. In this riotous comedy, the course of true love runs anything but smoothly. Virginia loves Fedele, who loves Victoria, who loves Fortunio – but who will end up with whom? The Neapolitan wooers are compelled to take drastic action to win over their beloveds… 



Sunday 16 July, 4.00pm

By Anon (published 1598)

The most frequently performed and printed of early modern plays, Mucedorus centres on its mysterious title character, a lowly stranger who saves the princess Amadine from a savage bear. This attracts the envy of Amadine's cowardly fiancé, Segasto, who tries first to have Mucedorus killed, and then has him banished from the court. Amadine flees the palace to find him and soon runs into peril. Will Mucedorus save Amadine? And will he reveal his true identity?


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?


The Elder Brother

Sunday 17 September, 4.00pm

By Philip Massinger and John Fletcher (published 1637)

With his daughter Angelica having turned fourteen, Lewis decides that it is time to find her a suitable husband. His neighbour, Brisac, has two eligible sons: the scholarly Charles (the eponymous elder brother) and his younger, more worldly brother Eustace. With the latter seeming the better match, Lewis and Brisac plot to transfer Charles’ birthright to his brother, while promising to leave him with a suitable income. But when Charles and Angelica meet and instantly fall in love, things do not go quite the way their fathers had hoped.


Back by Popular Demand - Winner's Performance

Sunday 1 October, 4.00pm

Join us in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse for the staged reading of the winning entry from the Back By Popular Demand Voting Event. The four plays chosen for this year’s Back By Popular Demand will be either solo or collaborative plays by Philip Massinger.