Shakespeare's Globe performs in the Bodleian Quad

16 July 2008

Beare_1_smallAfter the huge success of last summer’s touring production of Romeo and Juliet, The Globe will be launching a second open-air tour, The Winter's Tale, which will be visiting the Bodleian Library Old Schools Quadrangle as part of the 'Playhouse Plays Out' series.

The first event of its kind to ever be held within the idyllic surroundings of the Bodleian Library Quadrangle, the Globe’s production of The Winter's Tale will be making history when it comes to Oxford. In conjunction with the performances, the Library has organized a series of talks by eminent Oxford scholars. A small display of early books and related materials, including Shakespeare’s First Folio opened at The Winter’s Tale, Act III, Scene 3, will also be on show throughout August in the Bodleian Exhibition Room.

Part family drama, part fairy tale, The Winter's Tale, in keeping with the spirit of the old principles of touring theatre, will present a troupe of actors entertaining crowds with a stripped down version of Shakespeare’s magical story of jealousy, love and redemption.

Convincing himself of his wife’s infidelity, Leontes, King of Sicilia, is driven into a jealous rage. The disastrous consequences of Leontes’s actions reverberate across generations and national borders. Only his daughter, Perdita, left for dead in the wilds of Bohemia in her infancy, survives to redeem the tale.

Director John Dove (The Clean House) will be revisiting the play after his hit production of The Winter's Tale at the Globe Theatre in 2005. As well as The Winter's Tale, Dove has directed Measure for Measure and In Extremis by Howard Brenton for Shakespeare’s Globe. His other work includes Darwin in Malibu (Birmingham Rep) and Rafts and Dreams (Royal Court), Death of a Salesman (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh). Dove was also an Associate Director at Hampstead Theatre.

Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian, said: ‘The Bodleian’s Old School’s Quadrangle offers a spectacular contemporary setting for such a theatrical performance. We are pleased to collaborate with two established names in the theatrical world for this event, and to support it with talks by Oxford’s world-class Shakespeare scholars.’

Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, says; 'The Globe was born out of a touring company culture, and that culture remained vital to it while it flourished. We are delighted to be exploring again the tradition of taking Shakespeare into non-theatrical spaces.'

The pre-show talks are given by members of the English Faculty, University of Oxford and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre entitled Introducing ‘The Winter's Tale’. These will take place before each performance in Convocation House, Old Bodleian Library and will last approximately thirty minutes. Tickets (£2) can be booked through the Oxford Playhouse Box Office.

  • Sunday 17 August (13.15)
    Professor Katherine Duncan-Jones (Somerville College)
  • Sunday 17 August (18.30)
    Dr Simon Palfrey (Brasenose College)
  • Tuesday 19 August (18.30)
    Dr Elisabeth Dutton (Worcester College)
  • Wednesday 20 August
    Post-performance discussion (free: Globe actors)
  • Thursday 21 August (18.30)
    Dr. Gillian Woods (Wadham College)
  • Friday 22 August (18.30)
    Dr Laurie Maguire (Magdalen College)

Performance Dates: Sunday 17 – Friday 22 August (no performance Mon 18) 
Show Times: Sun-Fri Eves 7.45pm | Sun Mat 2.30pm
Ticket prices: £15
Book Tickets at: Oxford Playhouse Box Office

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