The appointment of Emma Rice as the Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, succeeding Dominic Dromgoole and the founding director Mark Rylance, caused surprise when it was announced in 2015. Ms. Rice, then in charge of the Kneehigh Theatre in Cornwall, a venue with a reputation for experimental workshop productions, had directed only one play by Shakespeare, Cymbeline, which Kneehigh staged at Stratford in 2006—if a production can be described as “by” Shakespeare that was marketed as “adapted by Emma Rice, written by Carol Grose,” with only a handful of Shakespeare’s lines retained (there is an inexplicably admiring account of it in Martin Butler’s Cambridge edition). Nor, by her own admission, did Rice know much else in the canon. Interviewed in advance of her first season, she explained that she had been...


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