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The Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on London's South Bank has announced its 2016 'Wonder' season, which will mark Emma Rice's first season as Artistic Director.
In keeping with the 'wonder' theme, designer Lez Brotherston will create a magical forest of silver birch tree trunks that will extend from the venue onto London's Bankside, welcoming visitors to the new season.
The season will open with a new production of the comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Rice with designs by Börkur Jónsson.
"When four lovers, a host of fairies and the mischievous Puck take to the woods, magic, comedy and confusion ensue in equal measure". Shakespeare's classic play runs from 30 April to 11 September 2016, with an official opening on 5 May 2016.
This will be followed by The Taming of the Shrew directed by Gate Theatre associate Caroline Byrne. The play, which has been re-set in Ireland, tells of two sisters who both have very different outlooks on marriage, and what their suitors have to overcome in their attempt to woo them. The production will run from 13 May to 6 August 2016, with an official opening on 20 May 2016.
The Kneehigh Theatre Company will return to the venue with productions of 946 The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips which has been co-adapted by Rice and 'War Horse' writer Michael Morpurgo and is based on his novel about the preparation for the D-Day landings. It will run from 11 August to 11 September 2016, with an official opening on 17 August 2016.
Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic will also present The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse which follows a young couple navigating the Russian Revolution and each other. It will run from 16 June to 2 July 2016.
A new production of Macbeth directed by Iqbal Khan will run from 18 June to 1 October 2016, with an official opening on 23 June 2016, alongside a return of The Merchant of Venice directed by Jonathan Munby and starring Jonathan Pryce as Shylock which runs from 4 to 15 October 2016.
Matthew Dunster will bring a new version of 'Cymbeline', re-titled Imogen, running from 17 September to 16 October 2016, with an official opening on 23 September 2016.
Further productions in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse include The Two Gentlemen of Verona directed by Nick Bagnall from 20 September to 1 October 2016 and The Inn at Lydda by John Wolfson, the Honorary Curator of Rare Books for the Globe. This new drama follows Tiberius Caesar and a meeting with Jesus Christ in Judea and will run in September, with dates to be confirmed.
Casting and exact schedules for all productions is yet to be announced.
Tickets for the 2016 'Wonder' season will go on general sale on Monday 15 February 2016.