It’s All Shakespeare! – The Globe and its Festival.
The visitor to the spacious city-centre racecourse in Neuss catches a sudden glimpse of an unusual, twelve-sided building with black and white shutters at its windows, standing under high poplars, between the betting-hall and the enclosure: The Globe.
This unconventional theatre – a construction of several storeys made of wood and steel – has stood on this site since 1991. With more than 500 seats, the audience sits close to each other in a semi-circle on three different levels, the actors on the stage seem near enough to touch. It is almost as if the audience is being asked to play a part, which in fact does happen from time to time. Theatre here is a real experience!
The only regular German Shakespeare Festival shows for one-month productions from all over the world.
Whether from Spain, Hungary or – naturally – Great Britain: companies such as “HOPPart” or “Propeller“ awaken our curiosity by their very names. What kind of magic will they work on stage? Creativity is of the essence, as the directors often have to do without complicated sets. Very much in the true spirit of Shakespearean theatre, it is the art of the actor which takes centre stage here. Their language, gestures and expressions, the costumes, the effective lighting and – last but not least – the theatre itself, in all its challenging simplicity, come together to create what can be called “typically Globe“.
Spot on! Whether it’s Romeo and Juliet, Romeo et Juliette or Romeo e Giulietta, in which language do the lovers’ oaths sound most beautiful? Perhaps in German? German theatre companies are, of course, members of the inner circle of the tried and tested “Globe family“. The performances of the Bremer Shakespeare Company, with which the whole festival actually began, are legendary. By the way, this festival is not limited to onstage activity. It extends out into the welcoming (Shakes)-beer garden and the truly dreamlike world of the transformed, candlelit betting-hall, where actors, Neuss theatre people and guests happily carouse deep into the night: – just like the Wooden “O” in Elizabethan London 400 years ago, where food and drink were a natural complement to the pleasures of eye and ear.