The Globe Ensemble is inspired by the historic practices of Shakespeare’s company.
Michelle Terry, Artistic Director, introduced the first Globe Ensemble in 2018, inspired by the ways early modern companies created their work.
We know that Shakespeare wrote for a company of artists who knew each other intimately, knew the theatres like the back of their hand, and lived alongside and amongst their audience. Shakespeare’s Globe – our new, 21st century one – has been inspired by this to form the Globe Ensemble, taking the spirit of a company of artists working together to stage performances of multiple plays, performed in repertory, with actors playing multiple roles across a season.
The actors which make up the Ensemble change every 12-18 months.
Our 2022 Globe Ensemble is made up of artists who have worked on Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Summer 2019/2021), Hamlet (Winter 2022), Much Ado About Nothing (Summer 2022), and The Tempest (Summer 2022).
Regular audience members may well start to recognise cast members across productions, supported by returning directors, designers, choreographers, composers and stage management teams. Having long term opportunities to inhabit and understand the unique playing conditions of the theatres, deepening an understanding of Shakespeare’s world and language, all serves to make richer, more embodied work, which in turn extends to our audience who become the final member of this collective theatrical experience.
‘Ensemble literally means “together” and through this inclusive practice of working together we become greater than the sum of our parts, imaginatively and respectfully liberating the plays from the shackles of literalism and “authenticity”, and creating work where play really is the thing. The nature of the ensemble process, the DNA of the Shakespeare canon, the architecture of the theatre, and the ultra-live dynamic between player and audience, all inform the values of the work. To realise these deep and complex plays requires everyone to have creative freedom, input, opportunity, ownership and responsibility, empowering us all to make our best contribution to the work.’
The Ensemble is fluid, allowing artists to come and go whilst the values, spirit and inspiration remain the same: to develop a supportive, collaborative practice creating work bespoke to the play, the players, the theatre and the time.