Shakespeare's Globe

Ralegh: The Treason Trial

Part of Ambitious Fiends

  • 2018/Winter/Ralegh

Related events

Doctor Faustus Doctor Faustus

Macbeth Macbeth

Follow us

24 – 30 November 2018

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Tickets Running time
TicketsFixed Position Standing: £10 | Seated: £5 – £45 Running timeThe proceedings are expected to last no longer than 2 hrs in total, including an adjournment for the jury to deliberate.
Check dates & book tickets
Check dates & book tickets

Your visit

Getting here
Eating and drinking
Where to stay
Safety at the Globe

The Company

Compiled, edited, dramatised and directed by Oliver Chris

Nathalie Armin  

Simon Paisley Day

Fiona Hampton

Pooky Quesnel

Simon Startin

Tim Steed

Jay Varsani

Jessica Worrall

Amanda Wright

View cast headshots on the blog → 

‘Say to the court, it glows
And shines like rotten wood’

Walter Ralegh, The Lie


Winchester Great Hall
17 November, 1603

The air is alive with the silence of a thousand expectant eyes. Ralegh enters, slowly, walking with a cane, neither proud nor defiant, concealing a limp with a studied control.

Ralegh bows to the bench. Then to the jury. The charge is read.

So begins the trial of the best hated person in England. A trial that changed history.


Ralegh: The Treason Trial is an immersive, verbatim account of what played out on that extraordinary November morning, compiled and edited from sources present at the trial itself.

Ralegh: The Treason Trial will be set in the arena of today’s political judicial system. As such we will be abandoning the doublets and ruffs of the early 17th century in favour of the lanyards and bureaucratic dress of the modern day corridors of power. 

Be a member of the jury

Please note: Ralegh: The Treason Trial is an authentic, verbatim trial. As such we will need a jury. Each performance will have twelve jury seats available for purchase specifically positioned either side of the performance area. Please be aware that if you choose to be a member of the jury you will be sworn in before the court and must sit in judgement over the defendant. At the appropriate time you, as a group, will be removed to deliberate and asked to reach your verdict, which will then be delivered in court.

It should also be remembered that if coming as part of a group, jury members will sit separately from non-jury members. Given the seriousness of the charges, the burden of the jury is a grave one. Before booking a jury ticket please ask yourself whether you are prepared and able to shoulder the responsibility. To book a jury ticket, please select that option on the booking page.

What’s in a Name?

During Ralegh’s lifetime, there was no standardised spelling of surnames. Consequently, the way his name was written down varied enormously, from spellings like Rawleye to Rayley or the even more obscure Raulyghe or Raule. He didn’t even spell his own name consistently for much of his life, but from about 1585 he did seem to settle on the spelling Ralegh, which is what we’ve opted for. Surprisingly, there is no record of him ever using posterity’s favoured spelling, Raleigh.

For more information about the debate over the spelling of his name, read the Walter Ralegh vs Walter Raleigh blog.

Ambitious Fiends

In our first festival of the season, we will explore early modern and modern responses to the themes of power and corruption.

Ambitious Fiends runs November 2018 – February 2019 and includes MacbethDoctor FaustusDark Night of the Soul and Ralegh: The Treason Trial