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Shakespeare's Globe's 2012 Annual Review

Shakespeare's Globe has confirmed that it has attracted a significant increase in new audiences to Shakespeare in a triumphant year in which it was named 'London Theatre of the Year' and received a special Critics' Circle award for its Globe to Globe season, according to its Annual Review published today (21 February 2013), covering activities to October 2012.

The Shakespeare productions, including the award-winning Richard III and Twelfth Night, played to 316,522 people (representing 97% of the Globe's audience capacity) and the unprecedented Globe to Globe festival recorded 80% of first-time attenders to the Globe.

More than 14,000 state school students from every London borough received free tickets to the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production of a Midsummer Night's Dream; over half of these students had never seen a play at a theatre before.

 

Shakespeare's Globe receives no direct annual government subsidy for its core artistic and educational work so relies entirely on its ability to generate commercial income as well as attracting fundraising revenue and donations.  Operating turnover for the year rose by 19%, yet over 40% of the audience paid only £5 for a groundling ticket, a price which has not changed since the theatre opened in 1997.

 

Neil Constable, Chief Executive, commented: "Last year was a phenomenal year for Shakespeare's Globe.  It is truly remarkable what has been achieved in the sixteen years since the theatre opened as wonderfully acknowledged by the Critics' Circle, recognising the Globe as 'the leading place to celebrate our greatest playwright'. We now look forward to more ground-breaking creativity and exciting new opportunities with the opening of the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in January 2014, allowing us to have a twelve month theatre season."

 

In an Olympic year packed with events throughout the capital, the once-in-a-lifetime Globe to Globe festival distinguished itself by its sheer scale, variety and creative ambition. Some 86,000 people saw the productions, bringing a significant new, multi-lingual audience to the Globe for the first time. The festival was recognised in January 2013 with a rare special award from the Critics' Circle.

 

The main Shakespeare season saw the return of Mark Rylance (the Globe's first artistic director) to the Globe with the all-male productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III. Recipients of three Whatsonstage.com awards, these co-productions with Sonia Friedman Productions and Shakespeare Road signified the Globe's first commercial transfers to the West End when they moved to the Apollo Theatre for a sell-out season.

 

Globe Education which tailors learning programmes, courses and events for students of all ages from pre-school to postgraduate, presented an ambitious programme of activity. Over 14,000 students received free tickets to the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, 92% of whom said they felt better prepared for classroom study and 95% wanted to see more Shakespeare on stage. Over 80,000 students participated in Lively Action workshops at the Globe.

 

Globe Education's first two Collaborative Doctoral Award students were awarded PhDs. Nearly 700 undergraduates and graduates participated in courses at the Globe during the year, with a study day held at the Globe for the entire year groups from both King's College, London and Queen Mary University, London.  Rutgers University students from New Jersey spent their entire third year of study at Shakespeare's Globe and the 2012 Sam Wanamaker Festival attracted students from every accredited drama school in the UK.

 

The exhibition and theatre tours brought 301,000 visitors from all over the world to the Globe site; a drop of just 3% on last year which compared remarkably well with other attractions in the capital many of whom experienced significant reductions in visitor numbers as a consequence of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

 

Shakespeare's Globe continued to reach beyond Bankside with its expanding touring programme and cinematic distribution.  During the year, two large-scale and two small-scale productions toured the UK and internationally with the support of the Arts Council. Anne Boleyn won the TMA Award for 'Best Touring Production' and the two small scale productions - Hamlet and As You Like It - were presented across the UK, US and Europe, attracting audiences of over 32,000. The Globe Education production of A Midsummer Night's Dream visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with accompanying schools' workshops.

 

Films of previous Globe productions continued to sell well on DVD, and the 2011 productions of All's Well That Ends Well, Much Ado About Nothing and Doctor Faustus were screened in 350 cinemas across the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand as part of the Globe on Screen initiative. All 37 of the Globe to Globe productions were filmed, which were free to view as part of the BBC/Arts Council England initiative 'The Space'. The growing back catalogue of filmed productions were selected by Digital Theatre to launch its Digital Theatre Collections with four plays captured by Shakespeare's Globe during the 2010 'Kings and Rogues' season.

 

Construction work began on the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, the new indoor theatre which will create an intimate theatrical experience, quite different to that of the main Globe theatre. The project has been developed without government support; so far £6.5million has been raised through trusts, foundations and individual donors towards a target of £7.5million. The theatre will open for performances in January 2014 making Shakespeare's Globe a year-round theatre destination.

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