Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Democracy on Stage Sounds Good but I Still Prefer Someone in Charge

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Democracy on Stage Sounds Good but I Still Prefer Someone in Charge

Article excerpt

Byline: William Moore Notebook

"LET your own discretion be your tutor." So Hamlet instructs his actors before they set out to catch the conscience of his uncle. It may not, in fact, be good advice.

There is much buzz in theatreland about Michelle Terry's actor-led approach to As You Like It and Hamlet, the first two shows in her debut season as the Globe's artistic director. While there are two directors credited, Federay Holmes and Elle While, the ensemble was encouraged to have collective ownership over the production. Almost every decision was apparently made together over the course of the long rehearsal process, from the casting to the costumes. The purpose of all this was, in Terry's words, to "dismantle the triangle of hierarchy that is part of our culture". Even before the shows opened last Thursday the approach was praised by many as democratic, egalitarian and inclusive. But does it pay off? It's an intriguing experiment. And if it could work anywhere then it would surely be at the Globe, since one could argue that it harks back to the ensemble tradition of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre companies. …

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