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August 29, 2012 at 11:13 am (East Asian Shakespeare, Eastern European Shakespeare, Eastern Performance, Globe to Globe 2012, Intercultural Performances, Middle Eastern Shakespeare, Trans/Gendered Shakespeare, Translation, World Shakespeare Festival)

Here is an extremely interesting summing up of the Globe to Globe Festival by my friend Duncan (known in the Twitter world as @shaksper) – we met at a Globe to Globe event, It is the East! My comment is added below.

Margate Sands

The Globe to Globe festival lasted six weeks and comprised thirty-seven Shakespeare productions, each in a different language. Theatre companies from around the world presented a wide variety of interpretations of Shakespeare in a range of theatrical styles.

The individual characteristics of these productions proved endlessly fascinating. But some common features emerged from this disparate collection of drama.

1. Women

Productions from a wide variety of cultures took characters written as male outsiders and recast them as female tricksters.

The Māori Troilus and Cressida had a female Thersites. Her tied-back hair and thin angular features were complemented by a shrill nasal voice that she used aggressively to mock everyone around her.

In the Hindi Twelfth Night the often dour figure of Feste became a sprightly young female whose mockery had none of the sad emptiness that comes to a peak in Feste’s concluding song.

The clownish Bottom became an old…

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1 Comment

  1. saffronatstudy said,

    I think your observations about the outsider as female trickster are very interesting indeed. There must be a research topic in that! The kissing of the stage by the Chinese Richard III has added significance because Hu Yaobing, the marginalised Chinese politician whose death was a contributing factor to the Tiananmen Demostrations in 1989, was the first Chinese politician to make a pilgrimage to Shakespeare’s Birthplace. Shakespeare didn’t just belong to Britain, but belonged ‘to the world’, he claimed. This was extremely significant, because although never banned in the Cultural Revolution (he was admired by Marx and Engels, after all), many were struggled against because of their involvement with Shakespeare, and the 400 year anniversary celebrations proposed by a Chinese academic in 1964 were publically criticised, warning people not to ‘worship at the alter’ of foreign writers. The recent restatement of that sentiment has a new nuance in our rapidly changing, globalising world – Globe to Globe, as your posts have shown, often seemed to suggest that Shakespeare now belongs more to the world than to Britain.

    Like

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