Dominic Dromgoole, artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe, has announced that he will step down from the post on Shakespeare's birthday 23 April 2016.
On 23 April 2014 – the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth – Shakespeare's Globe will embark on a two-year global tour of Hamlet that will aim to take in every country in the world.
The 'Globe to Globe Hamlet', directed by the Globe's Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole, will be a completely unprecedented theatrical adventure.
The company will travel to all 205 nations in the world to stage Hamlet in a huge range of unique and atmospheric venues, from village squares to national theatres, from palaces to beaches.
They will travel by boat, sleeper train, jeep, tall ship, bus and aeroplane across the seven continents. The Globe to Globe Hamlet will reinforce the Globe's continuing commitment to internationalising Shakespeare following the success of the 2012 'Globe to Globe' festival.
The Globe's artistic director Dominic Dromgoole said: "In 1608, only five years after it was written, Hamlet was performed on a boat – the Red Dragon – off the coast of Yemen.
"Just ten years later it was being toured extensively all over Northern Europe. The spirit of touring, and of communicating stories to fresh ears, was always central to Shakespeare's work.
"We couldn't be happier to be extending that mission even further. By train, coach, plane and boat we aim to take this wonderful, iconic, multifarious play to as many fresh ears as we possibly can."
The small-scale production, which toured the UK, Europe and the United States in 2011 and 2012, is a fresh version of Shakespeare's classic tragedy of deferred revenge that emphasizes the play's gallows humour and celebrates the exuberance and invention of its language. A new cast of just eight actors will perform over two dozen parts on a stripped-down booth stage in a brisk two hours and forty minutes.
The tour will finish on 23 April 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. This will also be the date of Dominic Dromgoole's departure from the Globe after a decade as artistic director.
Dromgoole succeeded Mark Rylance in 2006.
By staying till 2016, Dromgoole will have the opportunity to oversee the first few seasons of the Globe's new indoor Sam Wanamaker Playhouse which opens next January.