Research, Further Information

Globe Education has been collecting data on Globe audiences since 2007. Thanks to the Arts and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme, we were able to recruit a Ph.D. student, working collaboratively with Queen Mary London. The project, ‘Globe Audiences: Spectatorship and Reconstruction at Shakespeare’s Globe’, was completed successfully in 2012 by Penelope Woods, supervised by Dr Farah Karim-Cooper (Globe) and Dr Bridget Escolme (QMUL). The study used ‘evidence gathered from conversations with audiences carried out before and after performances at the Globe (in 2009-10), and contextualised through interviews with performers and creatives, archival data and critical scholarship to establish new understandings of current spectatorship at Shakespeare’s Globe’ (THESIS ABSTRSCT, p. 2, 2012).

In 2012, the Globe –to-Globe Festival inspired more research into the widest ranging audiences the Globe Theatre had seen. Dr Woods completed this research in an informal post-doctoral capacity, in the interest of building up the Globe’s audience research archive and knowledge base. The ‘Global Responses’ project would be another large-scale audience research project that intends to develop our studies of reception as well as to contribute significantly to the academic understanding of how spectatorship and audience behaviour are culturally defined.

Research questions:

How do the theatrical traditions and spectating practices of the visited cultures/nations shape individual responses to Shakespearean performance?

What role does language play in the construction/ shaping of global responses to Shakespearean performance?

How does the frame of the performance (the theatrical venue, the marketing of the event and the geographical location) affect audience expectations of the event and their responses?

How do Globe playing conventions work upon global audiences and how do they relate to the theatrical conventions in each culture? (Conventions: actor audience interaction, music and movement, verse speaking). 

Will Globe playing conventions be perceived or recognisably distinguish-able from one cultural tradition to the next?

How do global audience responses (e.g. blogs, interviews on site, etc.) map onto formal responses (e.g. reviews in the national press, academic responses, etc.)?

To what extent can we measure and assess how responses to the tour will have impacted on (and possibly changed) the Globe Hamlet as a theatrical production/event?

How do different venues and locations work upon the company’s expectations and approaches to performing Hamlet there?

What insights can be gathered from the Globe Hamlet Tour about the conditions of global touring in our time?

How do Shakespeare and/or Theatre form a connective tissue between cultures/nations?

To what extent can we measure how audiences ‘feel’ after seeing Shakespeare/Hamlet and what does this tell us about the various cultural constructions of and ideas about emotions?


One method we are using to collect responses is an online survey. Please help us to make further discoveries about our audiences by filling out our online survey.