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King James Bible at an early stage

18 November 2010

by Pat Ashworth

SHAKESPEARE’S Globe will celeb­rate the 400th anniversary of the Authorised Version next year with a cover-to-cover reading of the whole text, as the prelude to a special season, “The Word is God”.

It will take place around the Easter weekend, and is described as “a simple, unstaged recital of one of the greatest pieces of world literature”. It will be interrupted only by perform­ances of a small-scale touring production of Hamlet, which opens at the Globe on 23 April, Shake­speare’s birthday. The two events promise audiences “a rare opportun­ity to experience the two foundation stones of the modern English language back-to-back”.

A spokesman said on Tuesday that the recital was “still in the very early stages of planning”. Tickets go on sale to the public on 14 February. The godly theme is pursued in the first Globe production of Marlowe’s Dr Faustus; the Globe Mysteries, a fresh perspective on the Mystery plays; the return of Anne Boleyn, Howard Brenton’s story of King James’s feat in uniting England’s religious factions with a common Bible; and the “rude and rowdy” season climax of The God of Soho by Chris Hannan.

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