The Bard in Translation

Shakespeare fans,  mark your calendars: next spring, the Globe Theatre will truly live up to its name when it hosts the “Globe to Globe” Shakespeare festival starting April 23rd. During the festival, the theater will present all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays, in 37 different languages or dialects.

The plays will be performed by theater companies from 36 different countries around the world, many performing brand-new adaptations of familiar stories. Festival director Tom Bird told CNN that the theater tried to select performers from countries with strong immigrant communities in London, though that wasn’t the only consideration:

“The tricky thing is we can’t get everyone in, so we thought a little bit about the languages that are spoken in London, like Urdu, Yoruba and Polish. We also looked at countries that have a great long history of performing Shakespeare, like Georgia and Armenia, and finally if there was a very good show, we could take that anyway.”

The lineup also includes several theater groups with amazing, against-the-odds stories. For example, Afghanistan’s  Roy-e-Sabs theater company, who will performing “A Comedy of Errors” in Dari, were using the British Council building in Kabul as a rehearsal space before it was attacked in August. Bird told CNN, “Luckily they weren’t there on that day, but it was really a very, very lucky miss.” Read more