Shakespeare’s Globe launches new digital content

Shakespeare's Globe
Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe have launched a raft of new digital content to continue to engage its audiences with Shakespeare’s works. Shakespeare & Love in Isolation will see artists, including  Sandi Toksvig and Jenifer Toksvig – the creative team behind Christmas at the (Snow) Globe – and award-winning actress and director Kathryn Hunter, share some of the playwright’s greatest works.

The video-on-demand platform Globe Player will host free content including six filmed productions, 37 short films from The Complete Walk, which celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with an all-star cast filmed on location in the real settings of each plot, and titles in a multitude of languages from the 2012 Globe to Globe festival. The Such Stuff podcast will broadcast with brand new features, including Michelle Terry and Paul Ready’s Shakespeare Diaries, in which the two actors discuss some of their favourite plays and why art, theatre and Shakespeare remain important in times of global crisis.

The six filmed productions – Hamlet (2018), Romeo & Juliet (2009), The Winter’s Tale (2018), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013), The Two Noble Kinsmen (2018) and The Merry Wives of Windsor 2019) will be rotated every two weeks, with the first production shown on 6 April.

In line with the dedication to Access show in live performance, all Globe Player productions are captioned. The Such Stuff podcast will also be accessible to visually impaired people, and all episodes are transcribed.

The Globe is a registered charity receiving no public subsidy and has asked ticket bookers of cancelled performances to donate the cost of their ticket to help the theatre survive the most challenging of times. Over a third of bookers have already chosen to donate, and a gift voucher has also been launched to allow people to support the organisation and give the gift of the Globe for future purposes.

Artistic Director Michelle Terry said, “‘One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.’ Nature has certainly touched all of our lives in recent months. Whilst everything seems so uncertain, one thing we know for sure is that the world will never be the same again. In 1599, when Hamlet stood on a ‘distracted Globe’ and uttered the words ‘Now I am alone’, he would have been surrounded by up to 3,000 people. Now we are alone, but we are also in the company of billions, from all around the globe, finding the most inspiring ways to be alone, together. In these times of isolation, we will continue to reach people on our ‘distracted Globe’, providing community, joy and wonder, remaining, albeit digitally for now, a place of connection for us all.”

Patrick Spottiswoode, Director of Globe Education said, “Since we opened in 1997, we have explored ways of sharing the wonder of the Globe with people who may not be able to visit the theatre for themselves. Our online activities, classes and research materials will help in some way to keep our Globe doors open for all, whether primary children, post-graduates, or pensioners. Our theatre closed during the run of the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production Macbeth, with over 33,000 students having watched the production, but sadly a further 15,000 missing out. I am so proud that the educational activities of the Globe can adapt online to keep providing the best access to our excellent provisions until we can open the doors again.”

For students studying Shakespeare at home, the Globe’s Learning team has developed a wealth of activities, including Teach Shakespeare which helps support parents who are home-schooling. Other online activities such as The Globe Playground are suitable for younger children, and Staging It! for budding directors allows users to direct scenes online.

As universities have taken their teaching online, the Globe’s Higher Education and Research team are providing online content in the form of lectures, workshops and resources to support students learning from home. The Globe and King’s College London’s joint MA is now being taught online, with students being recruited for the next academic year.