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20 Aug, 2021 12:02

‘Wait til they see Hamlet!’: Brits mad after Globe Theatre warns of ‘upsetting’ themes in Romeo & Juliet & offers helpline number

‘Wait til they see Hamlet!’: Brits mad after Globe Theatre warns of ‘upsetting’ themes in Romeo & Juliet & offers helpline number

In a bizarre move, labelled “woke” by some, London’s historic Globe Theatre has decided to warn attendees about the potentially “upsetting” themes in Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and provide viewers with the Samaritans number.

Audience members for a new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragic love story, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, at London’s Globe Theatre, are being given the number of a mental health helpline and warned about the potentially disturbing scenes that await them, The Sun reported on Thursday.

“This production contains depictions of suicide, moments of violence and references to drug use. It contains gunshot sound effects and the use of stage blood,” the warning reads. Viewers are told to contact the theatre’s box office team if they have any further concerns.

The performance, yet another interpretation of the 16th century classic in a mock-Tudor venue on the site of the Bard’s historic playhouse, reimagines the story in the context of “current societal struggles,” the Globe told the newspaper. 

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“As we've chosen to focus on mental health, and utilise direct techniques that may be affecting to some audience members, we wanted to provide information to those who may need it,” the theatre added, explaining their viewer warning and helpline handout.

However, the Globe’s decision to offer viewer guidance for the 16th century tragedy has provoked a backlash among some Britons. One person took to Twitter to label the move “an amazing act of WOKERY,” suggesting they could retitle the performance as “Wokeo and Juliet.”

Another said the theatre team were “woke fools,” claiming Shakespeare is meant to trigger people, as “it’s a tragedy!”

Others were more concerned about the precedent the Globe was setting. One person complained Britain was raising a “soft generation” while another said, “never mind Soldiers having to deal with the mess in Afghanistan, thoughts are with these poor little darling luvvies.”

If people are so concerned about the content of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, one person suggested they should watch something lighter like ‘Peppa Pig’ instead. “For goodness sake, do they think everyone is a snowflake,” they asked.

Some others joked, “Wait ’till they get to Hamlet,” another Shakespearian tragedy in which the main protagonist is plagued by his own demons and is visited by a ghost. Nine of the 11 central characters die. 

Although many were clearly triggered by the Globe’s warning, some have taken to social media to praise the performance itself. “A beautiful modern take on the play while retaining its roots,” one person wrote.

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