Back in November, I posted about Globe to Globe, which is just one event in the calendar of the World Shakespeare Festival taking place around the UK. The Festival launched today, which is the 448th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birthday. The date also marks English Language Day at the UN.
During the next 6 weeks, the Globe Theatre in London is showing 37 of Shakespeare’s works in 37 different languages. The festival kicked off today with Troilus and Cressida in Maori, which has already been performed in Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand to standing ovations.
Director Rachel House advises audiences to “relax and enjoy it and not panic about the fact they don’t understand the language.”
She added, “there are tones and expressions and emotions that are easily identifiable because they are so universal.”
You can still book tickets to some shows here.
Source: BBC News
The British Library has released the first ever audio CD of clips of Shakespeare plays spoken in the original pronunciation. The recording includes some of Shakespeare’s best known speeches, such as the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet’s To Be Or Not To Be, and the Friends, Romans, countrymen… monologue from Julius Caesar.
The “new” pronunciation makes lines which were meant to rhyme actually rhyme, and demonstrates the importance of pronunciation in communications.
You can listen to some of the clips here. I think the accents used sound like a cross between Yorkshire and West Country styles. What do you think?
If you are further interested, the British Library will be holding an event with actors from the recordings. Shakespeare’s Original Pronunciation – Live! will be held on Friday 4th May. Tickets are available here and are priced £7.50 / £5.
The World Shakespeare Festival takes place next year in locations around the UK, starting from 23rd April. As part of this event, the Globe Theatre in London will be taking on one of its most ambitious projects yet. The project, entitled Globe to Globe, encompasses 37 of Shakespeare’s plays, each performed in a different language. This will run for 6 weeks only, from 21st April – 9th June 2012.
If you’d like to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Korean, Macbeth in Polish, Hamlet in Lithuanian, or Richard II in Palestinian Arabic, tickets start at £5 and are available here.