Shakespeare and Fear


Join us in the shadows of our candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse this October for a digital festival of chilling ghost stories, a staged reading of Macbeth from the critically acclaimed 2018 acting company, discussions and spooky stagecraft workshops.

Present fears are worse than horrible imaginings.

– Macbeth Act I, Scene 3

Fear weaves its way through Shakespeare’s plays, manifesting as delusion, paranoia and terror. He shows us how the contagion of fear can spread faster than the plague, how it can infect the mind and the body and how it can be used as a pacifying and suppressing power. Shakespeare also shows us that when fear is harnessed, it can offer hope and catharsis – and be transformed into a motivating force for positive action.

The Globe’s digital future has been supported by WarnerMedia, ensuring the digital infrastructure is secure throughout this period of closure and for future work to be made available to audiences worldwide.


Text: Secrets of the Stage, the text is made by smoke of a blown out candle

Secrets of the Stage

At Home
Fun, interactive and hands-on workshop for families to learn the spooky secrets of the stage!
Text: Deep Night Dark Night, image of a smoking candle

Deep Night, Dark Night 2020

At Home
A night of old, new and true tales that confront our doubts and fears at this time of profound uncertainty.
Text: Macbeth A Conjuring, a candles smoke sells Macbeth

Macbeth: A Conjuring

At Home
Join Michelle Terry and Paul Ready as they reunite with the cast of Macbeth (2018) for a semi-staged reading of this eerie and powerful play.
Text: In Conversation, image of a smoking candle

In Conversation: Fear in our moment

At Home
Dr Will Tosh and a panel of thinkers and writers explore how Shakespeare coped with political and personal fears and what theatre and literature can do now to comfort or galvanise in the face of our own fears.
Text: Thinking through a crisis, the words are spelled by the smoke of the candle

Thinking Through Crisis: Shakespeare and America

At Home
In the aftermath of the American presidential election we examine the dynamic between Shakespeare and social justice, autocracy, race, fear and crisis.