Shakespeare’s Globe announces Halloween digital festival ‘Shakespeare and Fear’

Shakespeare’s Globe has today announced a new Halloween digital festival, Shakespeare and Fear, the Globe’s second digital festival, which is filmed in the candle-lit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and will stream online from 31 October to 9 November 2020.

The festival opens on Halloween with Deep Night, Dark Night, a film of old, new and true ghost stories, followed by Macbeth: A Conjuring, a staged reading of the Scottish play from the critically acclaimed 2018 ensemble, and In Conversation: Fear in our Moment, a panel discussion on the potent nature of fear and its impact on all our lives. There will also be spooky ‘how-to’ workshops for all the family.

Featuring one of the most famous ghost stories from the past, and chilling tales from the present, this new film, Deep Night, Dark Night will include a story from Edgar Allan-Poe and brand-new stories from Sami Ibrahim and Abi Zakarian. The new works are created specifically for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and recorded in the space which has been set-up as a recording studio over this period of closure of the theatre.

The festival will also include Macbeth: A Conjuring, a brand-new, full-length reading of Macbeth, from the cast of the 2018 critically acclaimed production starring Paul Ready and Michelle Terry in the titular roles. The cast not only reunite for the first time in two years for a socially distanced candle-lit reading, but this is also the first time a Shakespeare play has been spoken in the space since the theatre closed on 13 March. Released on Bonfire Night (5 November) the film will be available for 7 days.

On 8 NovemberIn Conversation: Fear in our Moment will see some of our leading thinkers, artists and arts leaders, including Professor Bridget Escolme (Professor of Theatre and Performance, Queen Mary University) and Stella Kanu (Executive Director at LIFT), explore questions of fear: fear of the pandemic, fear of the direction of politics, fear of recession, as we all find ways to bear with, and build with, our own political and social dreads.

Secrets of the Stage workshops will run on 31 October at 11am and 3pm. To celebrate Halloween, participants will join the Globe’s Head of Props and Head of Wigs & Make-Up for an online interactive workshop, learning about the spooky secrets of the Globe’s stages. Learning how to make stage blood, stage make-up, gooey eyeballs and more, participants will be sent a list of ‘around the home’ materials required in advance.

The festival will draw to a close on 9 November, in the aftermath of the American Presidential election, with Professor Farah Karim-Cooper in conversation with Professors Ayanna Thompson (ASU) and James Shapiro (Columbia). Thinking through Crisis: Shakespeare and America will be examining the dynamic between Shakespeare and social justice, autocracy, race, fear and crisis. During the event, which will be held on Zoom, audience members will be able to send in questions for the panel. The event will also be available to watch later on the Globe’s YouTube channel.

The Globe’s online future has been supported by WarnerMedia, ensuring the digital infrastructure is secure throughout this period of closure and for future work to be made available to audiences worldwide. All online events will be available for seven days and available to stream from shakespearesglobe.com.

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