In 1994, Harrow staged the first-ever full-length production at the rebuilt Globe Theatre, with a company including actor Benedict Cumberbatch (The Park, 19903) and racing broadcaster Nick Luck (Rendalls, 19913).
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.
That production, and numerous others to follow, was produced by Harrow Beak (teacher) and director Ronnie Watkins. When the team led by Sam Wannamaker was planning the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on Bankside in the 1980s, Watkins was a key advisor. The ‘Ronnie Watkins Studio’, a rehearsal and educational workshop space in the Globe’s complex, was subsequently named in his honour.
Over Shakespeare’s birthday weekend in April 1994, three years before the Globe’s official opening, the School was invited to stage its production of The Taming of the Shrew within the scaffold of the ‘wooden O’. Although Watkins was in the audience, direction had passed to another Beak, Jeremy Lemmon, who inspired a further generation of pupils to love and study the Bard’s work.
Twelfth Night: 4pm Sunday 24 March 2019, Shakespeare's Globe
A shipwreck. Viola is washed ashore, but her identical twin brother Sebastian seems lost. Viola falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on OIivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio. Then enter Sebastian... In Shakespeare’s whirligig comedy, nothing is quite as it seems.
Harrow’s new production of Twelfth Night features boys from across the School and is directed by Director of Drama, Adam Cross. Performed live by a band of boys and staff, the production’s original score has been composed by Head of Academic Music, William Church, with additional pieces submitted by boys through a school-wide contest.
Celebrate our remarkable relationship with Shakespeare’s Globe by attending this once-in-a-generation performance. For enquiries on how to purchase tickets, contact email@example.com.