Shakespeare’s Globe hopes to re-open to schools next month

Provided the conditions are met for Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap for cultural reopening, Shakespeare’s Globe’s guided tours of the theatre will return from 13 April and include welcoming schools back onsite with tours and workshops. 

The open-air theatre is preparing exciting plans for full reopening in preparation for Step 3 of the roadmap, sharing details of a summer season later this month. 

Last summer, the site was open to the public for a new guided tour of the theatre, with over 3,600 visitors invited up onto the stage for the very first time. The tours are appropriate for all ages and run in a Covid-secure environment. Swan at the Globe, the Globe’s on-site bar and restaurant will be open for outdoor dining from 12 April. They will be offering mid-morning coffees and snacks, and a new springtime menu, with daily specials and a carefully curated drinks list. 

Additionally, the Globe’s online offerings continue apace, including entertainment, a higher educational programme and educational and research activities such as: Shakespeare Boost – a new series of online workshops for GCSE and A-level students, ‘Globe 4 Globe’ – an online symposium exploring Shakespeare and the Climate Crisis, Continued Professional Development courses for teachers, Acting Short Courses for young people, Telling Tales workshops and storytellings for families, the return of Emilia to your screens and performances from Juliet Stevenson and Nitin Sawhney. 

Neil Constable, chief executive: “Closing the Globe last year was a truly awful experience – none of us wanted the pandemic to be a reality, but in the face of public safety we of course did what was needed. Over the past year, we have expanded our digital offering and have loved seeing our work reach international audiences like never before. We have played our part supporting families and students at home with a huge array of events, workshops for all ages and stages. But, more than anything, we are excited to have audiences back in our wooden ‘O’, and we are well-prepared to safely welcome the public in once again. Our creative freelancers are integral to our reopening and future success, and we are committed to employing them at the earliest opportunity. We are ready to recover, delighted to open those wooden doors into our marvellous outdoor theatre and get back to providing world-class culture to the public.” 

Visitors to Guided Tours will discover Shakespeare in the iconic theatre for which he wrote, the history of London and the story of the Globe itself. An award-winning experience for the young and the young at heart, the tour normally welcomes over 350,000 visitors a year. Tours will be running every day during the Easter holiday (with 7 tours a day), following that at weekends until the theatre is fully reopen for other activities. Tickets must be pre-booked online for timeslots to allow for social distancing. The tours happen outside, and precautions due to Covid-19 include hand-sanitising stations, deep cleaning of toilets, face shields for the Globe Guides, and systems to ensure social distancing. The open-air theatre is following all recommended safety measures amending normal operation of the tours to fit with all Covid-19 restrictions. 

From Easter, Online Short Courses for Young Actors and Young Academics will also begin, with a variety of courses from 6-16 April aimed at those aged between 8-19 years. 

Telling Tales for families also continues over Easter with a selection of online storytellings and workshops for children and teenagers connecting from home. Families can also stream for free the 2019 production of Romeo and Juliet via YouTube until 31 March and our 2020 production of Macbeth is also available for teachers via the website until 23 July. Both productions were created especially for young people with ‘Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank’. 

From the 12-16 April a series of ‘Shakespeare Boost’ workshops supporting GCSE and A-level students charge up their understanding of set texts. These will be released as ‘pay what works for you’ to ensure the workshops are as accessible as possible. Led by a Globe practitioner, each two-hour session will provide participants with strategies to respond to questions in their final assessments. There will be sessions on Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet for GCSE, and Othello and Hamlet for A level. 

The higher education and research programme including the successful MA in Shakespeare Studies with King’s College London has moved online. On the 23-24 April an online symposium ‘Globe 4 Globe: Shakespeare and Climate’, will be co-hosted with the University of California (Merced). This major two-day event will gather experts, activists and theatre practitioners in a vital exploration of the relationships between Shakespeare’s works and the current climate crisis. Co-organised by Katie Brokaw, Paul Prescott and the Research Department at Shakespeare’s Globe, scholars will explore ecological collapse and renewal in Shakespeare’s texts; environmental experts will map out ways in which Shakespearean theatres and festivals can achieve sustainable and ethical futures, and theatre professionals will reflect on the capacity of live theatre to change audience perception and behaviour. The event is free to attend. 

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