Entertainment & Arts

Shakespeare's Globe confirms new artistic director

Emma Rice Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Emma Rice is an award-winning producer and director

Shakespeare's Globe has revealed Emma Rice will be its third artistic director, taking over from Dominic Dromgoole when he leaves in April 2016.

Rice, who is currently joint artistic director of the Kneehigh theatre company, based in Cornwall, said she was "delighted and honoured".

"I take custody of this incredible organisation with an open heart, fierce passion and excited mind," said Rice.

Both Dromgoole and original director Mark Rylance spent a decade in the job.

Rice said she was "mindful of the extraordinary artists I follow" at the open-air theatre, which opened on London's South Bank in 1997.

"Open to the elements, and to its audience, this unique and important space demands theatre that brims with passion, joy and humanity," said Rice.

'Boldness and adventure'

Dromgoole, who took over from Rylance as artistic director in 2006, called it an "excellent appointment in keeping with the Globe's traditions of boldness and adventure."

"Over many years, Emma has created at Kneehigh a body of work that shares the same principles of imagination, populism, wit and passion that have always been central to the Globe," he said.

"Kneehigh have also pulled off the same happy trick of a fierce local attachment in Cornwall and a broad international reach, which is so important to the Globe, in Southwark and everywhere.

"I am sure that Emma will be a great complement to the Globe's heterodox traditions, and also a major surprise."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Shakespeare's Globe is a full-scale recreation of an Elizabethan playhouse

Chief executive Neil Constable said the position had been "a widely sought-after role" but that he could "think of no one better placed to take on the Globe".

Dromgoole steps down at the end of the theatre's two-year Globe to Globe Hamlet tour next April.

During his tenure he has also overseen the opening of the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Rice is the latest female director to secure a top London theatre job. Josie Rourke has been the artistic director at the Donmar Warehouse since 2012.

That same year, Indhu Rubasingham joined the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, while Vicky Featherstone took over at the Royal Court Theatre in April 2013.

"[Emma] is a director at the top of her game," said Emma Stenning and Jenny Topper, who are Trustees and joint chair of the appointment panel.

"A theatre maker who revels in the presence of the audience, and one for whom the Globe is clearly a source of inspiration and passion.

"We can't wait to see where her world-class theatrical imagination will take us next."

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