Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Global Shakespeare at Shakespeare's Globe
Except--awww, no Filipino entry?
All the world's onstage--a single stage--as theater troupes from around the globe perform all of Shakespeare's plays in three dozen languages in the Bard's symbolic London home.
Shakespeare's Globe theater announced details Tuesday of a festival that will see all 37 of William Shakespeare's plays performed in 37 languages, from Urdu to Swahili, over six weeks in 2012.
The “Globe to Globe” festival includes companies from six continents, including the world's most populous countries, China and India, and the youngest--South Sudan, which became an independent nation in July...
The festival, part of the cultural warmup to next summer's 2012 London Olympic Games, reflects the ability of Britain's most famous playwright to reach audiences in myriad languages and cultures. [It] will be a complex logistical exercise, and producer Tom Bird said the ground rules given to participants were simple--don't bring a set, rely on costumes and movement and “revel in the music of your own language.”
The Globe is a recreation of the open-air theater where many of Shakespeare's plays were first performed. Many patrons stand in the open air as “groundlings” like their Elizabethan predecessors... Adventurous and energetic theatergoers can see all 37 plays for 100 pounds ($160)--if they are willing to stand. -- “The Bard goes global with 37 plays in 37 languages”
Among the announced participants:
• South Sudan (Juba Arabic), Cymbeline
• New Zealand (Maori), Troilus and Cressida
• Poland, Macbeth
• India (Hindi), Twelfth Night
• Greece, Pericles
• Africa (Swahili), Merry Wives of Windsor
• Israel, The Merchant of Venice
• Palestine, Richard II
• Serbia, Albania and Macedonia, Henry VI
• China, Richard III
• Belarus, King Lear
• Afghanistan, A Comedy of Errors
• England (the Globe's own production), Henry V
• England (London's Deafinitely Theatre), Love's Labor's Lost in British Sign Language
• USA (Chicago), Othello
PLUS: In London last year, I had a few non-negotiables: watch as many shows as I could at the West End, visit the British Museum, tour Buckingham Palace, and drop by at Shakespeare's Globe. The last I accomplished near midnight one day, when, after the 8 p.m. show of Jersey Boys, I hightailed it to the Millennium Bridge (photo below, in daylight--remember that giant steel bridge that got twisted like pretzels in the second-to-the-last Harry Potter movie?) fronting St. Paul's Cathedral. The opposite end of the bridge leads almost directly to the Globe theater.
A special show of Merry Wives of Windsor was available at half-price that day--at 11.59 p.m. The late hour wasn't about to deter me. I just needed to experience this one-of-a-kind place that faithfully recreates the theater experience of Shakespeare's time. Shivering in the autumn air, the bridge nearly deserted (except for a bunch of tipsy youths that briefly accosted me and my Flip video camera), I staggered across gripped by equal parts nervousness and sheer excitement. What I saw inside the Globe will be for another blog entry. But the going there--here, relive the moment with me: