Arts & Culture

Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour at the Bodleian Old Schools Quadrangle – The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew

By Cait Sweeney at

Oxford Playhouse and the Bodleian Library welcome back Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour this July with three of Shakespeare’s wittiest comedies performed in one of the UK’s most glorious locations. In this unique theatrical event set in the Bodleian’s Old Schools Quadrangle, audiences can experience theatre as it was performed in Shakespeare’s day, with the chance to vote at each performance for which play they’d like to see.

In a first for Shakespeare’s Globe, a company of eight actors will perform one of three plays each night: The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. In-keeping with Elizabethan tradition – and with thrilling unpredictability – the choice of play will be put into the hands of the most powerful members of the house: the audience!

In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare dramatizes the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, justice and mercy in some of his most highly-charged scenes, while in the character of Shylock he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theatre.

The Taming of The Shrew, Shakespeare’s outrageous comedy, introduces one of theatre’s great screwball double-acts, a couple hell-bent on confusing and outwitting each other right up to its controversial conclusion.

Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters, Twelfth Night combines cruelty with high comedy and the pangs of unrequited love with some of the subtlest poetry and most exquisite songs Shakespeare ever wrote.

Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour is presented as part of the Playhouse Plays Out programme, which brings theatre to unusual locations across the county. Firmly established as one of Oxford’s annual cultural highlights, this is set to be a truly special experience all round.

Monday 16 to Sunday 29 July 2018 Tickets for Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour at the Old Schools Quadrangle start at £10 and are available from the Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online at

Shakespeare’s Globe is a reconstructed open-air theatre on London’s Bankside, founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker and dedicated to the exploration of Shakespearean, Elizabethan, Jacobean, and contemporary theatre. Through an ambitious and lively theatre season, a dynamic and varied education program and a rich and interesting exhibition, the Globe has become a significant part of the national and international theatre landscape.
Under the Globe’s prior artistic directors, Mark Rylance and Dominic Dromgoole, and current artistic director Emma Rice, the theatre has worked its way through Shakespeare’s canon, providing a huge wealth of insight into each play when it is produced afresh within the architecture for which Shakespeare originally wrote. Emma Rice is stepping down as artistic director in Spring 2018, and her successor will be appointed this Summer. In 2014, Shakespeare’s Globe presented its newly constructed Sam Wanamaker Playhouse –an archetype of a Jacobean indoor theatre, completely unique amongst London venues and enabling the Globe to present theatre productions all year round.