Through workshops, consultancy, and production, Passion in Practice spreads ideas about how to play Shakespeare as simply as possible, without any great conceptual frame placed between participants and the play, and seeks to bring honesty and great passion to equal the work.

Its main work has been in exploring original practices – and especially those of accent, space, company, and stage-craft – to bring about new rehearsal and performance tools for modern Shakespeare production and education.

From these explorations came experiments in raising shows in 24 and 72 hrs.

The work is writer led, allowing original texts to guide performances, in combination with physical disciplines originally learnt from Complicité and developed to find new paths up to the scope and scale of Shakespeare’s words.


The Passion in Practice Shakespeare Ensemble collaborated with Shakespeare’s Globe, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Savannah Music Festival, the Sharjah Book Festival, the British Council, and the British Library, as well as the folk artists Sam Amidon, and the Askew Sisters.

In 2014 they were invited to explore Original Pronunciation in the newly finished Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, with a cue-script rehearsed, candle-lit staged reading of Macbeth in OP, using the opportunity to interrogate other original practices.

They transferred Macbeth in OP to a Bermondsey Wanamaker-like loft in November 2014, and in 2015 mounted a production of Pericles in OP at Daniel Harding’s Interplay Festival at the Berwaldhallen in Stockholm. Their Pericles: Recomposed was raised in three days, underscored by Max Richter’s Four Seasons: Recomposed, and played live by the Trondheim Soloists with violinist Daniel Hope.

In July 2015, PiP returned to the Globe and the Wanamaker Playhouse to give a cue-script rehearsed, candle-lit staged reading of Henry V in OP, which again transferred to Bermondsey.

 In 2016, they were commissioned to open the British Council’s Shakespeare Lives! programme and performed extracts of Twelfth Night at the Middle Temple, on the night of the 414th anniversary of the play’s first performance there.

In April 2016 they re-raised Pericles: Recomposed for the Savannah Music Festival, before curating the British Library’s Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday Night celebrations. They returned for a third time to the Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe in May 2016 to perform Dr Faustus in OP.


Shakespeare, as a cathartic writer from a classical tradition, should leave people feeling exhilarated.

As Olivier did in the 50s and Branagh did in the 80s, we breathe life back into Shakespeare, bringing a fresh approach to these wonderful plays, and challenging peoples’ expectations of what coming to see a Shakespeare play is like.


Working with cue-scripts to develop new rehearsal practice; learning the silent stage directions Shakespeare wrote into his scripts; creating an ensemble core of returning actors; turning a rehearsal process into a second-nature place where we hone a craft; exploring the benefits of original staging practices; attempting to do justice to the emotional core of the language; emulating the working relationship Shakespeare’s actors had, seeing what their methodologies and working dynamic can teach us. We wonder what directions and new ideas we might discover from such exploration & experimentation.

Photography by Scott Wishart, Aslam HusainMatt Reznek, and Shakespeare’s Globe