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Rawiri Paratene in the Globe Shakespeare Global Tour

Press release

For the past seven weeks veteran actor, Rāwiri Paratene has been in London, back at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, in rehearsals for the World Tour of Hamlet. It has just finished its previews at Middle temple hall, where Shakespeare played in the original production of ‘Twelfth Night’.

This ‘never been done before’ venture opens at The Globe on April 23rd, 2014 (Shakespeare’s 450th birthday) then will be taken to EVERY country on the planet – 205 in all – over the next two years. The tour gets to NZ in early June 2015 and ends back at the Globe on April 23rd, 2016 (the 200th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death) which will also mark the end of Dominic Dromgoole’s term as Artistic Director.

Rāwiri is the only non-British based actor in the cast.

His relationship with the Globe began in 2007 when he did the International Artists Fellowship and was asked back by Dromgoole to play Friar Lawrence in ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in 2009; He also appeared as the villain in Euripides’ “Helen’ that year, and returned to play Gloucester in ‘King Lear’ last year. In 2012 Rāwiri took a production of ‘Troilus & Cressida’, which was performed in the Māori language, to open the Globe to Globe Festival, where all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays were performed in different languages by companies from all over the world. Paratene has received rave reviews for all of his work at the Globe.

After the opening at the Globe this week, there are just two more London performances then on Sunday 27th around lunchtime, the cast & crew will Board the tall ship, JR Tolkien near Tower Bridge and sail to Amsterdam to begin this history making theatre tour. There is a press event around this departure and the opening night.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’s press release follows.

Globe Theatre
Press Release

/ Shakespeare’s Globe is delighted to announce the worldwide Hamlet tour company, who start rehearsals today

/ 4 March 2014

On 23 April 2014 the Globe opens its most ambitious tour yet: a two-year tour of Hamlet that will visit every single country on earth. Sixteen extraordinary men and women will travel by boat, train, jeep, tall ship, bus and aeroplane across the seven continents, performing in a huge range of unique and atmospheric venues – from village squares to national theatres, from palaces to beaches. Today they gathered together at the Globe for the very first time to begin rehearsals.

The production is a fresh, pared-down version of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy of deferred revenge. The company of twelve actors and four stage managers will use a completely portable set to stage a Hamlet that celebrates all the exuberance and invention of Shakespeare’s language in a brisk two hours and forty minutes. The production will be directed by Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst, designed by Jonathan Fensom and composed by Bill Barclay.

The role of Hamlet will be shared by Ladi Emeruwa and Naeem Hayat. All other male and female parts will be played in rotation by Keith Bartlett, John Dougall, Miranda Foster, Phoebe Fildes, Beruce Khan, Tom Lawrence, Jennifer Leong, Rawiri Paratene, Matthew Romain and Amanda Wilkin.

Ladi Emeruwa (Hamlet) was born in Nigeria and now divides his time between London and Lagos, where his family are still based. He came to boarding school in England at the age of 10 and went on to study Law at the University of Bristol. Ladi is a recent graduate of LAMDA. He starred as Brutus in LAMDA’s Julius Caesar at Wilton’s Music Hall and on tour in Paris.

Naeem Hayat (Hamlet) grew up in East London. He gave up his job as a painter and decorator to go to RADA, where he swiftly became one of his year’s star students. In his final year at drama school he played the title role in Richard III during the Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Festival.

Keith Bartlett’s (Claudius/Polonius) long and distinguished career has included Michael Boyd’s Olivier Award-winning Histories Cycle with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Romeo & Juliet with Headlong and Sam Mendes’ Glengarry Glen Ross at the Donmar. He recently spent a year playing the Wizard of Oz in the West End musical Wicked.

John Dougall (Claudius/Polonius) first went on the road with the English Shakespeare Company 25 years ago and has been touring regularly ever since. He has performed and toured extensively with the RSC, the Oxford Stage Company and Propeller. He is a long-standing Globe veteran, having performed in Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, The Winter’s Tale, Coriolanus and Measure for Measure.

Phoebe Fildes (Ophelia and others) is currently performing in the hit West End production of Once the Musical at the Phoenix Theatre.

Miranda Foster (Gertrude and others) is the daughter of renowned stage and screen actor Barry Foster and singer Judith Shergold. Although her parents discouraged her from following in their footsteps, Miranda was bitten by the performance bug. In her first major role she played Anne Page opposite Ben Kingsley in the BBC TV adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor. She has since played Charmian to Judi Dench’s Cleopatra and Cordelia to Anthony Hopkins’ Lear at the National.

Beruce Khan (Horatio/Laertes/Rosencrantz/Guildenstern) is an English-Pakistani actor who grew up in Sunderland. He made his Globe debut in Dominic Dromgoole’s Henry V. He is an avid Sunderland fan and intends to wear his Sunderland football shirt in every country in the world.

Tom Lawrence (Horatio/Laertes/Rosencrantz/Guildenstern) is the only cast member to have also appeared in both the 2011 and 2012 tours of this production, playing six different roles across nine countries. Tom is a founding member of the pioneering theatre company Punchdrunk and performed major roles in all their early shows. He is also a talented tap dancer.

Jennifer Leong (Ophelia and others) was born and educated in Hong Kong before coming to the UK to study Politics, Psychology and Sociology at the University of Cambridge. She trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and is a protégée of the Tang Shu Wing theatre company.

Actor and activist Rawiri Paratene (Claudius/Polonius) is best known as the star of the Oscar-nominated film Whale Rider. He is a great advocate for Maori language and culture and for environmental issues in his native New Zealand. Rawiri toured the UK, Europe and the Caribbean last year with the Globe’s King Lear, performed in the Maori production of Troilus and Cressida during 2012’s Globe to Globe Festival, and appeared in Romeo and Juliet at the Globe in 2009. In 2013 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film, television and theatre.

Matthew Romain (Horatio/Laertes/Rosencrantz/Guildenstern) grew up in Maidenhead, the son of two rabbis. He studied Philosophy at the University of Glasgow before realizing that acting was the only thing he actually worked hard at. He then trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Matthew toured the UK and the US with the Globe’s 2012 production of Hamlet and also recently appeared in The Recruiting Officer at the Donmar Warehouse.

Amanda Wilkin (Ophelia and others) made her Globe debut last year in The Tempest and Gabriel. Amanda is of Jamaican heritage and grew up in Hackney. She is a jazz and blues singer-songwriter who performs regularly at Ronnie Scott’s in London.

Shakespeare’s Globe

Phone +44 (0) 20 7401 9919
In person Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (8pm on performance days)
Sundays 10am-5pm (7pm on performance days)
Tickets £5 - £42 (Globe Theatre) £10 - £60 (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse)

Globe Exhibition & Tour is open all year round. For more information visit
The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse: Shakespeare’s Globe is in the final stages of fundraising for the new indoor Jacobean theatre, which opened in January 2014 with The Duchess of Malfi. For more information, please visit
Globe On Tour: The Globe’s productions tour the UK and internationally. For more information, please visit
Globe On Screen: Shakespeare’s Globe returns to cinemas in early 2014, bringing 2013’s season of triumphs to cinemas worldwide from April. Globe On Screen 2014 will feature The Tempest, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, all captured ‘live’ in high definition. Find out more at
Globe Education presents a programme of workshops, lectures, events and staged readings all year round. For more information, call Globe Education on +44 (0) 20 7902 1438 or visit
Globe Shop stocks a variety of products, including theatre season specific merchandise. Shakespeare's Globe is a registered charity and all profits from sales go towards supporting our educational mission. Items can be bought at the onsite shop or online at

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