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Shakespeare’s Globe opens UK Tour
The Wars of the Roses at York Theatre Royal

Shakespeare’s Globe will be opening their UK Tour in the north, at York Theatre Royal, for the first time this summer and will present the three Henry VI plays under their original titles – Harry the Sixth, The Houses of York & Lancaster and The True Tragedy of the Duke of York - from Wednesday 26 June to Saturday 13 July.

As the only northern venue on the Tour, York is the place for audiences from across the North to see internationally-renowned Shakespeare’s Globe on their doorstep without having to travel to London. Plus York Theatre Royal is the perfect setting for a sequence propelled and shaped by the royal ambitions of the House of York.

An all-day performance of the three plays will also be staged in the open air at Wars of the Roses battlefield Towton on Sunday 14 July. This will be an unprecedented theatrical event, exploring the links between English history, English literature and English landscape. Towton, saw some of the bloodiest battles in the country’s history and it is thought that this Battle alone claimed 28,000 lives.

The Henry VI plays begin with the death of Henry V and together chart the entirety of his son’s turbulent reign. They encompass the stories of Joan of Arc, who is burnt at the stake at the end of Harry the Sixth, and Jack Cade, whose short-lived peasant rebellion is depicted in The Houses of York & Lancaster. Yet at the heart of all three plays is the lethal struggle between York and Lancaster. The black comedy that builds with each reversal of power in The True Tragedy of the Duke of York ultimately sets the stage for the ascent of Shakespeare’s demonic Richard III, which York Theatre Royal will be producing in the autumn.

Although usually performed as a trilogy, the Henry VI plays were not intended as such and each one can be enjoyed without knowledge of the others. The Globe will present each of the three plays as stand-alone productions, emphasizing their individual strengths and qualities, while also providing the opportunity to see all three staged chronologically in a single day. Battlefield performances will take place on simple booth stages, offering audiences an authentic experience of early modern theatre.

Overflowing with intrigue and violence, this was Shakespeare’s first blockbuster history sequence and firmly established his reputation as one of the most popular playwrights of the Elizabethan age.

The three plays will be directed by Nick Bagnall, whose previous directing credits include Betrayal (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield) and Entertaining Mr Sloane (Trafalgar Studios). Nick is joint Artistic Director of the Milton Rooms, Malton. Designer Ti Green was nominated for two Tony awards and an Outer Critics Circle award for her set and costumes for Coram Boy (Imperial Theatre, New York). She was also nominated for an Evening Standard Theatre Award for her design of The Revenger’s Tragedy (National Theatre). Composer Alex Baranowski recently composed the soundtrack to the BAFTA-nominated film McCullin. His theatre credits include Macbeth (Trafalgar Studios), The Cripple of Inishmaan (Noel Coward Theatre) and Ballet Black (Royal Opera House).

Founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of performance and education. Together, the Globe Theatre Company, Shakespeare's Globe Exhibition and Globe Education seek to further the experience and international understanding of Shakespeare in performance. Shakespeare’s Globe has become one of the most popular visitor destinations in the UK, at the heart of the regeneration of London’s Bankside. Shakespeare’s Globe is a UK-registered charity and continues to operate without annual government funding. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole, the theatre season plays in repertory from April to October annually and has gained an international reputation for artistic excellence. Globe Education, directed by Patrick Spottiswoode, is one of the largest arts education departments in the country, and shares its approaches to the teaching of Shakespeare with over 100,000 students a year. Shakespeare’s Globe Tour and Exhibition is open all year round and is the world’s only permanent exhibition dedicated to Shakespeare’s theatrical career.
Tickets are available now for individual performances, £8-£20, family tickets £36-£58 and see all three plays ticket deals £30-£147 (on same or different day). For performance times and more details please contact York Theatre Royal Box Office on 01904 623568 or


Notes to Editors

Press Tickets are available for any performance from 26 June – 13 July

On Saturday 29 June, 6 & 13 July all 3 plays will be performed - 12.30pm, 4pm & 7.30pm

For press tickets, more information, images and to arrange interviews please contact Rachel Tarkenter, Communications Manager on Direct Line: 01904 550149 or

Henry VI: Three Plays
Graham Butler: Henry VI
Simon Harrison: Richard/Charles the Dauphin
Beatriz Romilly: Joan of Arc / Duchess of Gloucester / Lady Grey
Mary Doherty: Queen Margaret
Gary Cooper: Duke of Gloucester
Gareth Pierce: Duke of Clarence
Roger Evans: Duke of Suffolk / Jack Cade
Brendan O’Hea: Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York / Lewis XI, King of France
Joe Jameson: John Talbot / Edmund, Earl of Rutland / The Son Who Killed His Father