Guest post by Kate Timperley
In a year full of celebrations commemorating the 400 year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Arts Alliance are delighted to be working with Shakespeare’s Globe to bring six thrilling, highly acclaimed productions from the world’s most famous stage to a cinema near you.
As someone completely passionate about accessibility to the arts, I am lucky enough to run the Arts Alliance Ambassador programme, a global network of arts-loving volunteers who share our passion for bringing the arts – theatre, opera, ballet, art – to as many people as possible across the world, via our screenings in cinemas. We believe there should be no barriers to experiencing the arts, not cost, not geography or any vague feeling that the arts are not for you for whatever reason. We are some 160 in number, spanning the globe – from the UK to the US, from France to Spain, from India to Denmark, and of course Ireland.
The Ambassador Network is really delighted to be working currently on spreading the word on the Globe on Screen. Seeing these stunning productions straight from the world’s most famous stage via Globe on Screen is a wonderful opportunity for everyone – students and teachers studying the work of the Bard, those that have been or go regularly to Shakespeare’s Globe and want to explore how it looks and feels in the cinema, or those that cannot make it to London for reasons of cost or geography and want to experience the magic of Shakespeare’s Globe round the corner from home for the price of a cinema ticket, and those who’ve never seen or heard much of Shakespeare before and want to use the cinema as an easy, convenient and cost-effective way in to see whether it’s for them.
We love that everyone can experience the magic of Shakespeare in the comfort of local cinema, at an affordable price, at a time that suits them. Sitting in the best seat in the house, you will be able to focus on what matters to you most – the text, the costume, the acting, the staging….or all of the above!
The first production of this year’s Globe on Screen series is that most searching exploration of sexual politics and social justice, Measure for Measure. This was outgoing Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole’s final production in the Globe’s outdoor space, and it received rave reviews for production and acting: “Shakespeare without a safety net…it’s noisy, it’s earthy, it’s unruly…..here’s a corking good time, clear enough to make the play count, with a quite astonishing feat of acting at its heart” (Variety)
Cinema audiences react as theatre audiences – laughing, engaged, passionate, moved – and burst into spontaneous applause. In cinemas, you see things that you may have missed in the theatre – the minute, joyous details of the staging, the performances.
And what better play to dive into the details of than the thrilling Globe production of Merchant of Venice, starring Jonathan Pryce as Shylock?
In some of his most highly-charged scenes, Shakespeare dramatises the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice and mercy; while in the character of Shylock he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theatre. Described by reviewers as “The Globe at its best….a finely balanced, intelligent production” (The Times), this production is returning to the Globe later this year, as well as going on an international tour. What better way to join the conversation than seeing this amazing production in your local cinema?
And what of Sir Ian McKellen’s assertion – that seeing a Shakespeare play makes the words come alive: “if you see Shakespeare on stage, much of the difficulty goes” – we want to encourage people into cinemas to challenge the perception that Shakespeare is not for them, because it is too hard, too complex, or not for them.
How about Richard II as a way in to Shakespeare? Dazzlingly eloquent and ceremonious, Richard II invests a weak and self-dramatising man with tragic status and represents Shakespeare’s most searching exploration of the meaning of kingship and the rising powers that can destroy it. A “lucid and compelling….highly intelligent and fast-moving production” (What’s On Stage), starring Charles Edwards in the title role of this often underrated history play, it feels like the most fitting production for both the Globe and for cinemas, a briskly intelligent production that gives the play exceptional variety of texture.
We will shortly be announcing the second three plays in this year’s Globe on Screen series – watch this space to see which of the new productions from Shakespeare’s Globe’s new Artistic Director Emma Rice Wonder Season will be see in cinemas and brought to audiences globally.
Get involved with the conversation on social media at #GlobeOnScreen
See the trailer for this season’s trio of screenings from Shakespeare’s Globe.
Find out more and book your tickets at: onscreen.shakespearesglobe.com
Find out more about Arts Alliance at Arts Alliance
The Globe on Screen series will be in cinemas in May and June across Ireland including at Movies@Dundrum, Movies@Swords, Movies@Gorey, SGC Dungarven, and the Pavilion Dun Laoghaire – tickets available now.
[Guest blog post written by Kate Timperley – Ambassador Network Marketing Manager for Arts Alliance]