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Shakespeare by candlelight at the Globe’s new theatre

Posted at 3:30 pm, April 24, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment
CGI interior of Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Design by Allies + Morrison

No more bunking off in the winter for Shakespeare’s Globe: the Southwark landmark is about to switch to all-year-round programming with its new indoor venue. Two decades in the planning, the candle-lit, 360 seat Sam Wanamaker Playhouse opens in January, with booking open to the public from May 19. Named after the Globe’s late founder Sam Wanamaker, the Playhouse was part of the original vision for the theatre, and will offer darker, stranger and more intimate shows in the cold months when the main outdoor theatre is shut. The inaugural season kicks off on Jan 9 with a production of Webster’s nightmarish tragedy ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ (Jan 9-Feb 16); it’ll be followed by Frances Beaumont’s 1607 ‘meta’ comedy ‘The Knight of the Burning Pestle’, a co-production with Royal Opera House on a raucous 1644 opera, Francesco Cavalli’s ‘L’Orminoo’ (Mar 25-Apr 12), and a revival of John Marston’s comic masterpiece ‘The Malcontent’ (Apr 3-19), performed by the Globe’s newly-formed young company. And all this will take place in glorious candlelight: Southwark health and safety bods have given the Globe the go-ahead, and according to artistic director Dominic Dromgoole there’s no chance of the oak building catching fire: ‘You could fire a flamethrower at it for half an hour and it would only char’ he predicted, confidently, at yesterday’s launch event.

For info, see blog.shakespearesglobe.com. For more of the Bard, see our guide to Shakespeare plays in London and our top 10 ways to celebrate William’s 449th birthday

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