In March 2019, a company of Harrovians performed Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe, in celebration of the historical relationship between the Theatre and Harrow.
Directed by Adam Cross, Director of Drama, the new production featured an original score composed by William Church, Head of Academic Music, performed live by a band of staff and boys.
The School’s tradition of performing Shakespeare dates back to 1941 when, as the story goes, the roof of Speech Room was bombed, inspiring a production of Twelfth Night to be staged open air and partially in the round – playing conditions reminiscent of Shakespeare’s original Globe.
Over Shakespeare’s birthday weekend in April 1994, three years before the new Globe’s official opening, the School was invited to stage its production of The Taming of the Shrew, with a company including actor Benedict Cumberbatch (The Park 19903) and racing broadcaster Nick Luck (Rendalls 19913), within the scaffold of the ‘wooden O’. The production was directed by Jeremy Lemmon, a Harrow beak and play director who inspired a generation of pupils to love the Bard’s work.
Twenty-five years on, the School took to the Globe’s stage once again, with many Old Harrovians who had been involved in the 1994 production in attendance amongst the packed audience. At the end of the performance, we were delighted to welcome Joanna Lumley to the stage, who announced that proceeds from the event’s ticket sales would establish the annual Jeremy Lemmon Project, in which Harrow boys and pupils from local partner schools will work together with mentoring from Globe actors, and with access to its stage.