Tag Archive | "Globe to Globe"

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Merry Meetings at Shakespeare’s Globe

Posted on 23 July 2012 by Becky Brewis

It’s an action-packed year for the good people at Shakespeare’s Globe. Their massive Globe to Globe project, which came to a close last month, earned them huge coverage and was a great success, bringing international theatre companies to the Bankside theatre to perform each of Shakespeare’s plays in a different language. Now a whole new programme of events, Merry Meetings, is underway. I asked Jamie Arden, Head of Operations and Events in the Globe’s ambitious Education department, what they’ve got planned – and what opportunities there are to get involved.

Merry Meetings is all about a celebration of meetings, whether it’s meeting the academia with the performance element, meetings between actors and audience, or the actors meeting the play and finding new insights.” Globe Education is one of the largest theatre education departments in the UK, and the events in the Merry Meetings programme are designed to support the experience of coming to see one of the shows in the theatre’s current season, The Play’s the Thing, including Henry V, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It and Hamlet. The Globe is also welcoming back ex-artistic director and award-winning actor Mark Rylance, who will be taking the title role in Richard III, and there’s the chance to hear director Tim Carroll discuss rehearsing the play.

The season promises to provide some unique insights into Shakespeare’s plays. Each production is accompanied by a Setting the Scene lecture series, in which academics are joined by Globe actors: “What we try to do – and partly why Merry Meetings is such an apt title for us – we try to marry both the academic and the fact that we are a theatre. Essentially, what we are trying to do is make Shakespeare’s work come alive through theatrical performance, so we pair an academic – to give us insights – with our actors, who illustrate the lectures. It becomes a very accessible, very interactive kind of experience.”

If you are after something even more in-depth, study days are being held on Saturdays throughout the season. These tend to focus on a particular play and provide “an opportunity for students in particular to come along and immerse themselves, through practical exercises, through looking at the script in detail with some of our practitioners, and to really understand the essence of what these plays are saying.” Arden tells me that part of the problem with studying Shakespeare is that from a young age so many people are put off – including himself – by “being introduced to it in the classroom, with the embarrassment of reading these unusual words aloud on front of your classmates.” What Globe Education tries to do, he says, is “explore this heritage of ideas and how we can make that really live and make the plays come alive.”

So even when studying Shakespeare, the emphasis is always on acting and practical theatre. For instance, as part of Merry Meetings, a series called Talking Theatre gives people coming to see the shows the chance to meet the cast afterwards and ask questions about the whole process; about going from rehearsals to the actual stage and to hear from the director about the choices, ideas and concepts they are exploring. As part of the Perspectives programme, Jamie Parker will be discussing his journey from playing Prince Hal, in the Globe’s acclaimed 2010 productions of Henry IV Parts One and Two, to taking to the stage as King Henry V. Additionally, actors Peter Hamilton Dyer and Colin Hurley will share their experiences of rehearsing and performing in this season’s Twelfth Night.

Merry Meetings is really celebrating what’s different about the experience of coming to the Globe compared with the experience of going to another theatre, where the lights go down and you’ve got to be quiet and you focus on the light on stage. Here it’s that kind of shared light that means the actor and the audience are able to connect with each other.”

The Education team has just got back from Latitude Festival, where they took one of the plays in their Read Not Dead series into the Suffolk countryside, weaving a festival atmosphere through John Fletcher and Philip Massinger’s 17th Century play, Beggars Bush. The Read Not Dead series – one of Arden’s personal highlights – presents readings of rarely staged plays,  some of which were the original source plays that inspired Shakespeare: amongst others, you can catch John Ford’s Perkin Warbeck, and the original, anonymous, The Taming of A Shrew.

“Since the Globe was first founded by Sam Wanamaker,” Arden tells me, “it had sought to make itself a community space; a theatre that reflects the local community and where people feel welcome.” And from The Merry Wives of Windsor in Swahili to Merry Meetings‘ wide-ranging Shakespeare perspectives, that’s what this year has been all about.

Merry Meetings run at Shakespeare’s Globe until 11th October 2012. For more information on the talks, performances and workshops and how you can get involved, visit their website.

Image credit: Shakespeare’s Globe

Becky Brewis

Becky Brewis

Becky Brewis is Commissioning Editor of AYT. She is a freelance writer and editor and has written for Huffington Post UK and IdeasTap and reviews theatre for Broadway World and One Stop Arts. Sub-editing includes IdeasTap, Nick Hern Books and fashion and art magazines Nowness and Wonderland. She has worked for theatres and arts organisations including the Finborough, the Pleasance, the Southbank Centre, Cecil Sharp House and the Barbican Centre.

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Want to Write? The best of the UK’s Literary Festivals

Posted on 05 March 2012 by Marése O'Sullivan

2012 marks a major year for literature all over the world. From Shakespeare to Dickens to the best of Ireland’s authors, literary festivals offer a jam-packed few days of writing, reading and guest speakers, as well as the opportunity to indulge in the delights of each city. A Younger Theatre has checked out some of the best literary festivals that the UK and Ireland have to offer over the coming months:

The World Shakespeare Festival will celebrate the Bard as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Celebrations will be particularly centred in London as crowds flood in for the 2012 Olympics, but the event will also be marked in cities such as Stratford-upon-Avon, Newcastle, Birmingham, Brighton and Edinburgh. Beginning on 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday, and running until November, theatres all over the UK will have productions and exhibitions on offer.

The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon – along with staging many plays – will host an exhibition, ‘The Stories of Shakespeare’, in association with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. There will also be many other events, such as the Swan Theatre’s Creative Dialogues (Translating and Transposing Shakespeare, Reinterpreting and Reimagining Shakespeare, and Shakespeare and the Contemporary Artist). Stratford-upon-Avon will also have its own Literary Festival from 22-28 April.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London will host all of the playwright’s 37 plays on stage in Globe to Globe: “a multi-lingual Shakespeare project”, from 23 April to 9 June. “Each [play will be performed] in a different language [and] each by a different company from around the world”, says the website. The official opening will take place on the 21-22 April. In September, the theatre will also feature Stephen Fry’s first performance on stage in 17 years, as Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, from 10 August to 2 September, the Edinburgh International Festival will stage a Polish production with English subtitles entitled 2008: Macbeth, while Wales’s National Theatre will present Coriolanius in August.

The Dickens 2012 Festival will celebrate the two hundredth birthday of renowned Victorian author Charles Dickens (February 7) with myriad events over the course of the year. The main attraction is the Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street, “the author’s only surviving London house”, but ensure you visit before 9 April when the museum will close for a refurbishment. It is also holding a special Flash Fiction Workshop for 16-24-year-olds on 11 March. Young Writer-in-Residence Femi Martin will run this workshop as well as a number of others. The event is free but places are limited. The Museum will also play host to If These Walls Could Speak… on 3 April, honouring the new work of upcoming English writers over wine and sherry (drinks that Dickens himself was apparently partial to). You can also follow in Dickens’s footsteps on the Museum’s ‘Dickensian London Walk’ until 4 April for £10, prior booking essential (Call 0207 405 2127 or email).

The V&A Museum of Childhood is collaborating with the English Association and the Dickens Fellowship to present the Dickens and Childhood Conference on 18 June. Held at the V&A, student attenders can look forward to a £25 concession rate, lectures from Dickens specialists and talks from children’s authors. The Museum of London is also getting involved: it is running  an exhibition called Dickens and London until 10 June, including “manuscripts of some of his most famous novels, his writing desk and chair, artefacts, paintings and audiovisual effects to create an immersive and exciting journey through Dickens’s imagination”.

Known as the ‘Literary Capital of Ireland’ and the home of celebrated writers John B. Keane, Bryan MacMahon, Brendan Kennelly, Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Maurice Walsh, Robert Leslie Boland, George Fitzmaurice and Seámus Wilmot, the town of Listowel, Co. Kerry, will host the forty-first Listowel Writers’ Week. The event will take place from 30 May to 3 June. There are 14 three-day Literary Workshops on offer, covering genres from creative writing to poetry to screenwriting to journalism to memoir. There are only 15 places per workshop, each costing €175. The festival will also have readings from several internationally acclaimed authors, including Belinda McKeon. A weekly ticket costs €100, or €180 for two, and concession tickets are available for students. You can make bookings by calling +353 682 1074.

Galway City in Ireland is well known for its arts, especially literature. The twenty-seventh Cúirt International Festival of Literature, on 24-29 April, will showcase some of the best writing talent to come from the island. The annual Cúirt/Over the Edge Showcase on 25 April is highly regarded and will feature the fiction and poetry winners of the Cúirt New Writing Prize 2012. More events will be announced on the website shortly so make sure to have a glance at its Twitter or like its Facebook page.

Cambridge Wordfest (Spring 2012) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in style. Held from 13-15 April at various venues throughout the city, Festival Director Cathy Moore says to “expect a three-day party bursting with everything from big-name authors to debut writers, [to] personal inspirations [and] global themes”. They will be welcoming top-notch writers from all over the UK, including Julian Clary, Michael Portillo, Grace Dent, Charley Boorman, Ian Rankin, Michael Rosen, Cressida Cowell and Andy Stanton. The festival will also have a wide range of literary events during the weekend: Writing Creative Non-Fiction, Ghost Writing Masterclass, A Room of One’s Own Workshop and Walking Tour, Poetry Workshops, Getting Published Today Masterclass and Crime Writing Workshops are just some of the delights to choose from. The box office is now open for bookings: have a look at thewebsite or call 01223 300 085.

The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival at Christ Church, Oxford, has one of the most spectacular backdrops of any festival. From 24 March to 1 April, the festival will display a wealth of creative knowledge and entertainment, and more than 80 events that will take place. The guest speakers include Peter Carey, Vikram Seth, William Boyd, Robert Harris, Anthony Horowitz, P.D. James and Ian Rankin. Check out the website for more information, as well as its Facebook page and Twitter. Call the box office on 0870 343 1001.

The Bath Literature Festival will be held from 2-11 March. This year’s festival has a smashing line-up of authors and events, from Writers’ Surgery workshops for anyone suffering from writer’s block, to Britain’s only poetry pub crawl, to a talk with The Times columnist David Aaronovitch. A fun few days in one of the most beautiful English cities, this festival is certainly not one to be missed. You can follow it on Twitter for the latest updates.

This is only a selection of the fantastic festivals and events that are going on throughout the country this year. If you’re a prospective or established author, or just a lover of words, soaking up the rich literary atmosphere will do your writing the world of good!

Image credit: Dickens 2012 Festival.

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Globe to Globe

Posted on 13 October 2011 by Rebecca Felgate

With all eyes on London in 2012, the first time England has held the Olympic Games in 63 years, London will become the world’s stage for a short while. Whilst it may be true that the main focus will be on sporting success, with the capital hosting over 200 nations across its 34 Olympic venues, the accompanying Cultural Olympiad will have much to offer in the way of art and theatre.
In the spirit of England’s open invitation to all nations to share the country’s 2012 celebrations, Shakespeare’s Globe has come up with the idea to bring the international essence of Olympics to the theatre with its upcoming Globe to Globe season. The 2012 season will present all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, which for the first time ever, will be performed in 37 different languages from “all corners of the earth”.
Globe to Globe commences on 21 April and runs until 9 June 2012. During these six weeks Artistic Director, Dominic Dromgoole jokes, “The whole world is coming to the Globe!” In light of the epic scale of multiculturalism the season is set to express, it seems that this project is an exploration of language. That is to say that the Globe, home to so much of Shakespearean history, is taking what is arguably England’s greatest known playwright and offering up his much-celebrated language to world wide interpretation.
First up to kick off the season will be the Isango Ensemble from Cape Town which is set to perform Venus and Adonis in six different languages: IsiZulu, IsiXhonsa, Sesotho, Setswana, Afrikaans and South African English. In this cocktail of languages the Ensemble, which Dromgoole dubbed “the world’s greatest party company”, will present a carnival interpretation of the poem “brimming over with song and dance”. By launching proceedings in this fashion the Globe will express ways of communicating with audio and visual material, whilst dispensing with the tradition of Shakespearean plays relying on a play’s words to convey meaning.
The season seems set to investigate the different ways in which languages are communicated. For instance Henry IV parts I and II will be performed by different companies: the first by Compañia Nacional de Teatro in Mexican Spanish, and part two in Argentine Spanish by the Buenos Aires based Elkafka Espacio Teatral. Both countries have their own variances of the language. Subsequently, this may present an interesting perspective on language and the effects of how and by whom it is spoken.
For some, Globe to Globe may prove more than a multicultural celebration; it will be an opportunity for political freedom and expression. For example the season is set to present work from the world’s newest established country, South Sudan. The South Sudan Theatre Company will perform Cymbeline following a 20-page letter of request from the country’s Presidential Advisor which read: “Every night I used to lie in the bush under the stars reading Shakespeare’s plays and trying not to think about the killing that would take place in the morning”. Dromgoole described Shakespeare as a “megaphone for political aspiration” for the people of South Sudan. With this performance marking the first time Shakespeare will have ever been performed by the new country in the language of Juba Arabic, the performances on 2 and 3 May will be a real chance for the country to demonstrate itself as a unit.
Moreover, this concept of theatre as a political megaphone is extended to many parts of the world, especially those in conflict, with theatre becoming a radical form of expression. This is certainly the case for the Ashtar Theatre of Palestine which aims to make “theatre a fundamental need within Palestine society through stimulating cultural awareness.” Ashtar Theatre will perform Richard II despite the assassination of the Palestine Freedom Theatre Founder, Juliano Mer Khamis, in April of this year. Perhaps the language and political connotations of Palestine will lend a new meaning and relevance to Shakespeare’s play about conflict and dislocation.
On a slightly more light-hearted note, as Globe to Globe will present language in so many ways across the 37 works, it is near impossible to not provide something stimulating for every possible audience. For instance one may suspect that the “delightfully cheeky” Chicago based Q Brothers are set to entice younger audience with their Hip Hop interpretation of Othello in Othello: The Remix. Whilst this “smashed up” version of a Shakespeare classic, “lyrically re-written over original beats” may be seen as an affront to a cultural artifact, the argument could be presented that if one wants traditional stories to survive, they must be able to transcend the years and be reworked in order to be understandable and applicable to the modern day. Whilst it would be a generalisation to suggest that all youths are avid fans of urban music, it is certainly interesting that in a season celebrating language, Hip Hop is to be included as a form of communication. Although in terms of rhythm and metre, Hip Hop is not a million miles away from the musical nuances of Shakespeare’s famous iambic verse, the inclusion of Hip Hop as a language, or at least a valid form of communication, may well make a wider comment on the ability of one to present or receive story through music and rhythm.

Amid the 37 ‘languages’ is the inclusion of Love’s Labour’s Lost performed in British Sign Language. Deafinitely Theatre will take to the stage to perform the comedy and in doing so will “unite both a deaf and hearing audience”. In a season of linguistic investigation it will be interesting to experience silence among such a jumble of native sounds. Perhaps the silence of the play will provide a new focus and meaning to the essence of Shakespeare’s work.
All in all the Globe to Globe season promises to be what Dromgoole described as “a feast of stories”. Like the London Olympics, the season is set to be “a wild carnival of cultural interaction,” which will no doubt lead to a wide linguistic exploration as well as potentially a wider investigation into communication and comprehension. Moreover, with performances from companies such as Deafinitely Theatre and the Q Brothers, the season may well suggest a way to dispense with language as the prevalent form of communication altogether. In our ever-expanding world, with more and more languages and cultures, like South Sudan, to be recognised, perhaps the forthcoming Globe to Globe season will provide an insight into how one may go about forming true cross-cultural connections.

Globe to Globe will be performed from 21 April 2012 to 9 June 2012. For more information, visit the Globe to Globe website here.

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News: Globe to Globe, 37 Shakespeare shows back-to-back

Posted on 27 September 2011 by Rebecca Felgate

Cymbeline will be performed in Juba Arabic by South Sudan Theatre Company

Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Dominic Dromgoole, said that theatre had “never announced something quite so exciting and bizarre” as plans for the much anticipated Globe to Globe season were fully announced yesterday afternoon.

With all eyes on London for the 2012 Olympics, Shakespeare’s Globe is preparing to host 37 international companies presenting all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays over the course of just six weeks, with the first production commencing on Shakespeare’s birthday, 23 April.

The Globe to Globe season, part of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival, is unique and exclusive, being the first time Shakespeare’s full works have been presented back-to-back in entirely different languages.

The season will host the English debut of work from The Sudan Theatre company in Juba Arabic, just a year on from the country’s formation. The season will also present a Balkan trilogy of Henry VI, uniting Serbia, Albania and Macedonia on stage for the first time.

Morever, as part of the Globe’s examination of language on stage, for the first time in history a Shakespeare play will be performed entirely in British Sign Language, bringing together deaf and hearing audiences together as one.

Tickets to the season of 37 shows will start at £5 and will have various athletic themed offers, including the chance to see all of the shows for just £100.

For more information visit:


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