Shakespeare’s Globe will put six of its productions online to watch for free while the theatre is closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Plays including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will be available to stream at the Globe’s on-demand service for free starting from April 6th 2020, with the films rotating every two weeks.
Also among the theatre’s newly announced digital offering are a series of short films featuring an all-star cast that were made to commemorate 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, and a new online series featuring Sandi Toksvig.
Toksvig and her sister Jenifer are two of the theatre-makers confirmed to take part in Shakespeare & Love in Isolation, which will see artists sharing the Bard’s words from their own places of sanctuary.
The Globe said they are also looking for ways to host Mark Rylance’s “Shakespeare’s Walks”, which has been taking place for 27 years, digitally in celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday in April.
It was also revealed that more than a third of ticket-holders have donated the price of their tickets to cancelled performances to the theatre, rather than asking for a refund. The Globe is a charity that receives no public subsidy, and put out a call for people to consider donating when the closure was announced.
Michelle Terry, artistic director of the theatre, said: “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.”
Shakespeare’s Globe productions that will be made free to watch online:
Romeo & Juliet (2009)
The Winter’s Tale (2018)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2013)
The Two Noble Kinsmen (2018)
The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019)