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Interview: From the Wooden O to Young Hearts

Marième Diouf on performing at Shakespeare’s Globe for the first time

The Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank programme at Shakespeare’s Globe welcomes students from Key Stage 3 upwards into the magical ‘Wooden O’ to experience a Shakespeare text adapted especially for young people. This season the play is Romeo and Juliet and we were thrilled to chat about the show with actor Marième Diouf, who is playing the Friar.

Hi Marième, it’s great to chat with you. You’ve had some experience performing Shakespeare’s work in the past, but have you been on stage at the Globe before? How does it feel?

This is my first time on stage at the Globe, it’s been on the bucket list for a while. It feels amazing being in the space, I fall in love on stage more and more each day.

This version of Romeo and Juliet has been especially adapted for a younger audience. Can you tell us a bit about what that entails?

This production is for young people so it’s shorter than other productions. It’s fast paced, full of action. The fights are exhilarating and honest. The dances are fun and freeing, so all in all great entertainment!

You’re playing the role of the Friar. Has that also been adapted for this production?

Our version of Friar is super relatable for the kids. Not only do we have a female Friar, she’s also young, connected with the kids and openly shows her activism. 

Have you worked with/performed for young people before? What makes this project so special?

I’ve worked with young people before in two different productions, but this job is at a much bigger scale. Coming on stage and seeing all the kids in the space and hearing the cheering that comes with their excitement is so special. 

This year, and over the last 18 years that the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank project has been running, the Globe has welcomed many young people to their first ever experience of live theatre. How does that feel for you and the company? 

The fact that we’re part of their first experience in theatre is such a pleasure for me. I feel proud of the work we’ve done, so sharing it with the young audience who are so open and honest with their reactions feels very nourishing.

Thanks so much to Marième for taking the time to chat with us about what promises to be an amazing production. Romeo and Juliet is open to public until 13 April. Further information and booking can be found here.

About Mary Pollard

By her own admission Mary goes to the theatre far too much, and will watch just about anything. Her favourite musical is Matilda, which she has seen 16 times, but she’s also an Anthony Neilson and Shakespeare fan - go figure. She has a long history with Richmond Theatre, but is currently helping at Shakespeare's Globe as a steward and in the archive. She's also having fun being ET's specialist in children's theatre and puppetry, and being a Super Assessor for the Offies! Mary now insists on being called The Master having used the Covid pandemic to achieve an award winning MA in London's Theatre and Performance.