Filmed in the candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, ‘Shakespeare and Fear’ is the second digital festival steaming online from 31 October to 9 November. The festival opens on Halloween with Deep Night, Dark Night – a film of old, new and true ghost stories, followed by Macbeth: A Conjuring, a staged reading of the Scottish play from the critically acclaimed 2018 ensemble, and In Conversation: Fear in our Moment, a panel discussion on the potent nature of fear and its impact on all our lives. There will also be spooky ‘how-to’ workshops for all the family.
Michelle Terry, Artistic Director said, “In 1605 there was a plague. Theatres in London were closed. In 1606 Shakespeare wrote Macbeth. There is not one mention of the plague in Macbeth, but fear is mentioned nearly fifty times. Shakespeare chose not tot alk about the virus, but look instead of how disease, doubts, fears and horrible imagining can infect a mind, a country, a world, and how, out of chaos, instability and disorder, the crisis that merges become an opportunity not only for ruthless ambition and terrorising confusion, but also a catalyst for hope, transformation and positive collective action. With Halloween, Bonfire Night, and the results of an election determining the future of the free world, there feels like no better time to be sharing these stories and having this conversation about the power of insurrection and the potential for resurrection.”
Featuring one of the most famous ghost stories from the past and chilling tales from the present, this new film, Deep Night, Dark Night will include a story from Edgar Allan-Poe and brand-new stories from Sami Ibrahim and Abi Zakarian. The new works are created specifically for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and recorded in the space which has been set up as a recording studio over this period of closure of the theatre.
The festival will also include Macbeth: A Conjuring, a brand-new, full-length reading of Macbeth, from the cast of the 2018 critically acclaimed production starring Paul Ready and Michelle Terry in the titular roles. The cast not only reunited for the first time in two years for a socially distanced candle-lit reading, but this is also the first time a Shakespeare play has been spoken in the space since the theatre closed on 13 March. Released on Bonfire Night, the film will be available for 7 days.
On 8 November, In Conversation: Fear in our Moment will see leading thinkers, artists and arts leaders including Professor Bridget Escolme (Professor of Theatre and Performance, Queen Mary University) and Stella Kanu (Executive Director at LIFT) explore questions of fear: fear of the pandemic, fear of the direction of politics, fear of recession, as we all find ways to bear with, and build with, our own political and social dreads.
Secrets of the Stage workshops will run on 31 October at 11am and 3pm. To celebrate Halloween, participants will join the Globe’s Head of Props and Head of Wigs & Make-Up for an online interactive workshop, learning about the spooky secrets of the Globe’s stages. Learning how to make stage blood, stage make-up, gooey eyeballs and more, participants will be sent a list of ‘around the home’ materials required in advance.
The festival will draw to a close on 9 November, in the aftermath of the US presidential election, Professor Farah Karim-Cooper will be in conversation with Professors Ayanna Thompson (ASU) and James Shapiro (Columbia). Thinking through Crisis: Shakespeare and America will examine the dynamic between Shakespeare and social justice, autocracy, race, fear and crisis. During the event, which will be held on Zoom, audience members will be able to send in questions for the panel. The event will also be available to watch later on the Globe’s YouTube channel.
For more information, please visit the website.