Rice to quit Globe

Emma Rice is to step down as artistic director of The Globe having taken charge in April this year, after the board decided the controversial experiment has not worked.

However, she will not go until April 2018 to complete her current cycle of programming. 

Neil Constable, the Globe’s CEO, said Rice’s adventurous programming had brought newaudiences and good box office returns, but the theatre needed to return to more traditional staging.  “Following much deliberation and discussion, the Globe board has concluded that from April 2018, the theatre programming should be structured around 'shared light' productions without designed sound and light rigging, which characterised a large body of the Globe’s work prior to Emma’s appointment” he said.

“Whilst the realisation of Emma’s vision has been a vital part of our continuing experimentation as a theatre, we have now concluded that a predominant use of contemporary sound and lighting technology will not enable us to optimise further experimentation in our unique theatre spaces and the playing conditions which they offer” he said.

Rice, who came from the acclaimed Cornish touring company Knee High to succeed Dominic Dromgoole, introduced new sound and lighting techniques which some critics felt was not in keeping with the venue, with scant attention to the core material. This summer she feminised Shakespeare’s Cymbeline retitling it Imogen to a mixed reception. 

She said her first “Wonder Season” had given opportunities to forge relationships with directors and actors. Her “Wonder Noir Winter Season” continues in the indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and she promised the 2017 summer season, which is to be announced shortly, would be “filled with joy, delight and love”.


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