With devolution in the air, Malcolm McKay's rollicking new production of Thomas Middleton's 400-year-old comedy comes over as a quite conscious celebration of Englishness - a galumphry of stick and morris dancing that in this latter-day wooden O affords a comforting reflection of an England that barely knows any more what that means.

Middleton offers a distinctly jaundiced view of domestic life in London at the beginning of the seventeenth century - a portrait of mercenary parents and procreation seen as a matter of inheritance (has much changed?) where fathers and husbands would sell daughters and wives.

McKay's production, exploiting the Globe's unique qualities to the full, positively swings along embroiling public and cast alike in chases that swarm up ladders and down ropes. With its ad-libbing and double entendres, it's like a cross between a Whitehall farce and a restoration farce (complete with a bevvy of gossipy women played by actors in drag) i n a style that dear old Bernard Miles in his heyday at his Puddle Dock Mermaid would have adored.

There are lovely performances from Amelda Brown as Maudlin, the unscrupulous wife of

Yellowhammer the goldsmith (Matthew Scurfield wildly overplaying it), Ben Walden as their gullible ''Cambridge'' scholar son, Eve Matheson as a jovially pert Lady Kix desperate for children and Mark Rylance as the morally weak Mr Allwit, prepared to let the roving knight, Sir Walter Whorehound bed by his wife - and father numerous children - until Whorehound himself falls on hard times. All in all, a romp.