Abuse on social media over ‘woke’ plays spark fears over safety of actors at Shakespeare’s Globe 

Abuse on social media over ‘woke’ plays spark fears over safety of actors at Shakespeare’s Globe 

Threats and abuse on social media over ‘woke’ plays spark fears over safety of actors at Shakespeare’s Globe

  • Actress Michelle Terry says she fears for safety of actors who are in woke plays
  • Ms Terry condemned the ‘bilious’ Twitter abuse to unconventional productions
  • She added that the Globe ‘still seems to be at the heart of some culture wars’

Angry reactions to woke plays are putting actors at Shakespeare’s Globe at risk, warns the theatre’s artistic director.

Michelle Terry says she fears for their safety following ‘bilious’ social media reaction to unconventional productions.

She said I, Joan – portraying the 15th century French saint Joan of Arc as non-binary – and an update of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, which included trigger warnings and a suicide helpline, were not intended to be provocative.

But threats and vile abuse on Twitter had made her concerned for performers’ safety, she said at the launch of this year’s season of Globe plays.

Michelle Terry says she fears for their safety following ‘bilious’ social media reaction to unconventional productions (Pictured: Michelle Terry playing Viola in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe)

‘I have to sit with them before they go on stage and put themselves on the front line and go, “Is this the safest thing for you to do,” and that is really worrying,’ she added.

‘It is becoming harmful. Can I advise a 23-year-old artist to stay away from social media? Of course I can. Will they? Of course they won’t.

Angry reactions to woke plays are putting actors at Shakespeare’s Globe at risk, warns the theatre’s artistic director

Angry reactions to woke plays are putting actors at Shakespeare’s Globe at risk, warns the theatre’s artistic director

‘So they then read horrific tweets like, “Thank God you are fat because fat burns quicker.” ’

Ms Terry said the Globe ‘still seems to be at the heart of some culture wars’.

She added: ‘If there is a really strong opinion about a piece, fantastic, that is what we are for and then let’s have a dialogue.

‘Find a way for theatre to be part of the conversation… that is our job. Do I want that to be the bilious Twitter corner of the playground that only perpetuates hate? No, I do not.’

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Bill Bowkett

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