A project documenting the World Shakespeare Festival, the greatest celebration of Shakespeare the world has ever seen.

Cymbeline

Juba, South Sudan

May 2 & 3

Africa

  • Venus and Adonis

    • April 21 & 22
    • Cape Town, South Africa

    The unique and much-loved Isango Ensemble from Cape Town kick proceedings off with a carnival interpretation of this great narrative poem. Isango have already enchanted audiences in the West End with their reimagining of The Mysteries – Yiimimangaliso and The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo. They will bring the same modern African sensibility, brimming over with song and dance, to Shakespeare’s great story of seduction and loss of innocence. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Merry Wives of Windsor

    • April 25 & 26
    • Nairobi, Kenya

    An exuberant, African take on Shakespeare’s comedy of failed courtship, Bitter Pill bring their version of The Merry Wives of Windsor from Nairobi to London. Full of laughter and fun, this production, celebrating the wit and independence of urban African women, first played at the Harare International Festival of Arts in Zimbabwe, before travelling north to engage with the sun-soaked joys of the Swahili language. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Cymbeline

    • May 2 & 3
    • Juba, South Sudan

    In July 2011, after more than 50 years of violent struggle, the Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest country. The South Sudan Theatre Company’s Cymbeline, the first ever adaptation of Shakespeare into Juba Arabic, draws on the performance traditions of the horn of Africa. Led by the renowned writer Taban Lo Liyong, the adaptation draws on local accents, modern slang and myth, to create a show that resonates with contemporary life and politics in South Sudan. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona

    • May 9 & 10
    • Harare, Zimbabwe

    A two-man Zimbabwean riot of love, friendship and betrayal. From Verona to Milan, via Harare and Bulawayo, two great friends, Valentine and Proteus, vie for the love of the same woman. In a triumphantly energetic ‘township’ style, Denton Chikura and Tonderai Munyevu slip into all of the play’s fifteen characters – from amorous suitors to sullen daughters, depressed servants and even a dog – in this new, specially commissioned translation. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • The Winter’s Tale

    • May 24 & 25
    • Lagos, Nigeria
    • Renegade Theatre

    The Renegade Theatre initiated the Theatre@Terra project in 2007, where plays were produced twice every Sunday in Lagos without interruption for three-and-a-half years – a feat unparalleled in modern Nigeria. The company’s patron is the Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka. Yoruba folk tales inform this magical new production where Leontes becomes Sango, the God of Thunder, and Hermione is Oya, the Warrior Spirit of the Wind. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Macbeth: Leila and Ben – A Bloody History

    • 4 - 14 July
    • Tunisia

    Tunisian Macbeth where Shakespeare’s malevolent tyrant and his wife are reincarnated as the equally diabolical modern-day duo, Leïla and Zine Ben Ali. Combining Shakespeare’s text with film and reportage, this production interrogates the way Arab leaders use, possess and perpetuate power. Shakespeare’s vision of evil and driving ambition finds new resonance amidst a mafia-like culture. Playing at Riverside Studios, London, and the Northern Stage, Newcastle. Playing at Riverside Studios, London, and the Northern Stage, Newcastle.

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Asia

  • Twelfth Night

    • April 27 & 28
    • Mumbai, India

    Fresh from touring their radical Hamlet: The Clown Prince into the Hackney Empire, the Company Theatre return to London with a new interpretation of Twelfth Night for the Globe. Atul Kumar, their artistic director, is trained in the traditional Indian dance and martial art forms of Kathakali and Kalerippayattu, and is delighted to return to the UK with the company’s vibrant production of this comic classic. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Richard III

    • April 28 & 29
    • Beijing, China

    This momentous occasion will be the National Theatre of China’s first visit to the UK. The company, which stages work in three different performance spaces in Beijing, works with the finest playwrights and directors in China. Their trailblazing productions show the new face of 21st century Chinese theatre. This production of Shakespeare’s wicked horror-show of power and paranoia, will be directed by the National’s Associate Director, Wang Xiaoying. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    • April 30 & May 1
    • Seoul, South Korea

    Yohangza means ‘voyager’, and this groundbreaking company has travelled all over the world since its inception in 1997. Their performance combines music, mime, song and dance to create an exhilarating adaptation of Shakespeare’s inventive and glittering comedy. Focusing on the story of the four mortal lovers and the spirits of the east Asian forest, Shakespeare’s characters burst onto the stage with a fresh, eastern vibrancy. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Titus Andronicus

    • May 3 & 4
    • Hong Kong

    The hybrid culture of Hong Kong informs this production of Shakespeare’s grisliest play from the eminent Hong Kong director’s outstanding and groundbreaking troupe. Described as the ‘alchemist of minimalist theatre’, Tang Shu-wing works with simple staging, voice and movement, to release the energies of classic texts. His ensemble has toured to Singapore and the US, and the Globe to Globe festival is its first visit to the UK. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Richard II

    • May 4 & 5
    • Ramallah, Palestine

    Ashtar is a dynamic Palestinian theatre company with a global perspective, founded in Jerusalem in 1991. In 2010 the group performed The Gaza Monologues, a series of stories told by the young people of Gaza – an unprecedented theatrical project involving thousands of people and 44 theatre groups from around the world. This vital theatre bring their direct storytelling style to Shakespeare’s great masterpiece of dislocation. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • The Tempest

    • May 7 & 8
    • Dhaka, Bangladesh
    • Dhaka Theatre

    From a land constantly troubled by water, enter Shakespeare’s mariners, wet and speaking Bangla. As well as pioneering new Bangladeshi drama, the Dhaka Theatre, Bangladesh’s most prominent theatre group, has staged The Merchant of Venice and Brecht’s The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui. Often called Bengali, Bangla is one of London’s most widely spoken languages. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Coriolanus

    • May 21 & 22
    • Kyoto, Japan
    • Chiten

    This renowned company from Kyoto works under the direction of one of Japan’s most imaginative artists, Motoi Miura. Known for its minimalist vision, this company produces an expressive theatre rooted in the exploration of words, sound and the human body. Celebrated for their work on Chekhov, which has proved highly successful in Russia, they are now bringing their vision of Shakespeare to England for the first time. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • All’s Well that Ends Well

    • May 23 & 24
    • Mumbai, India
    • Arpana

    Arpana mix live music, dance and acting in the style of the Bhangwadi theatre that originally catered for an audience of daily wage labourers in the 19th century. Since 1985 the company has staged many productions in Mumbai and across India, in a range of spaces including school yards, restaurants and public gardens. This bittersweet comedy will be their first production in the UK. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • The Taming of the Shrew

    • May 25 & 26
    • Lahore, Pakistan
    • Theatre Wallay

    Theatre Wallay – KASHF presents a new production of The Taming of the Shrew, starring the Lahore screen and stage star Nadia Jamil as Katherine. Rich in colour and energy, the production explores the difficulties encountered by modern Pakistani women. With live singers and musicians, a thrilling bhangra jig rounds off this uplifting version of the first romcom. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Antony and Cleopatra

    • May 26 & 27
    • Istanbul, Turkey

    In 1999, Haluk Bilginer, an Istanbul star of stage and screen, built the pioneering Oyun Atölyesi. It has since become the leading light of the Turkish theatre scene, staging a thrilling and diverse programme, including Timon of Athens, Macbeth and Othello. Haluk returns to the UK as Antony in this new production, which also features Zerrin Tekindor as Cleopatra, and Globe regular Kevork Malikyan, as Enobarbus. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • The Merchant of Venice

    • May 28 & 29
    • Tel Aviv, Israel

    The Habima is the centre of Hebrew-language theatre worldwide. Founded in Moscow after the 1905 revolution, the company toured the world before eventually settling in Tel Aviv in the late 1920s. Since 1958, they have been recognised as the national theatre of Israel. This production, of one of Shakespeare’s most controversial and most human plays, marks their first visit to the United Kingdom. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • The Comedy of Errors

    • May 30 & 31
    • Kabul, Afghanistan
    • Roy-e-Sabs

    Roy-e-Sabs is a theatrical miracle. In 2005, the group performed Love’s Labour’s Lost in an ancient garden in war-ravaged Kabul, close to where the founder of the Mughal Empire lies buried. The controversial production saw men and women acting together, the women occasionally not wearing headscarves, and lovers holding hands – truly audacious things to rehearse and perform in modern Afghanistan. For the first time, they are leaving Kabul to come to the Globe with Corinne Jaber’s new production of The Comedy of Errors. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad

    • 26 April - 30 June
    • Baghdad, Iraq

    Baghdad’s Iraqi Theatre Company create a version of Romeo and Juliet for a new generation, infused with Iraq’s rich traditions of poetry, music and ritual. This iconic play finds fresh purchase in the soil of contemporary Iraq, a country where sectarian strife between Sunni and Shia, ignited and fuelled from outside, has left the population exhausted by a cycle of violence and revenge. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Riverside Studios, London.

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  • Cymbeline

    • 29 May - 2 June
    • Japan

    Legendary director Yukio Ninagawa, renowned the world over for his visually powerful interpretations of Shakespeare’s work, brings this rarely performed romance tragedy to the Barbican Stage. With a career that has spanned over forty years, Ninagawa has most recently directed Henry VI, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Coriolanus as well as Titus Andronicus, performed as part of the RSC’s Complete Works Festival in 2006. Playing at the Barbican, London.

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Europe

  • The Hollow Crown: Henry V

    • 21 - 28 July
    • England

    The Hollow Crown brings together four filmed adaptations of Shakespeare’s History Plays – Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. Starting in the year 1399, this continuous story of monarchy follows events during sixteen years of dynastic and political power play. Kings, with their families and followers, are threatened by rebellion and conflict. Directed by Thea Sharrock and starring Tom Hiddleston, Henry V is the second installment in the series, which will be shown on BBC 2 and BBC iPlayer.

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  • The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2

    • 14 - 28 July
    • England

    The Hollow Crown brings together four filmed adaptations of Shakespeare’s History Plays – Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. Starting in the year 1399, this continuous story of monarchy follows events during sixteen years of dynastic and political power play. Kings, with their families and followers, are threatened by rebellion and conflict. Directed by Richard Eyre and starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, and Simon Russell Beale, Henry IV – Part 2 is the third installment in the series, which will be shown on BBC 2 and BBC iPlayer.

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  • The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1

    • 7 - 28 July
    • England

    The Hollow Crown brings together four filmed adaptations of Shakespeare’s History Plays – Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. Starting in the year 1399, this continuous story of monarchy follows events during sixteen years of dynastic and political power play. Kings, with their families and followers, are threatened by rebellion and conflict. Directed by Richard Eyre and starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, and Simon Russell Beale, Henry IV – Part 1 is the second installment in the series, which will be shown on BBC 2 and BBC iPlayer.

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  • The Hollow Crown: Richard II

    • 30 June - 28 July
    • England

    The Hollow Crown brings together four filmed adaptations of Shakespeare’s History Plays – Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. Starting in the year 1399, this continuous story of monarchy follows events during sixteen years of dynastic and political power play. Kings, with their families and followers, are threatened by rebellion and conflict. Directed by Rupert Goold and starring Ben Whishaw and Patrick Stewart, Richard II is the first installment in the series, which will be shown on BBC 2 and BBC iPlayer.

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  • Measure for Measure

    • April 24 & 25
    • Moscow, Russia

    The Vakhtangov, on the Arbat, is at the heart of Moscow both geographically and theatrically. From humble beginnings in 1913, this company, which began in basements and front rooms, grew to inhabit one of Moscow’s most beautiful theatres. Always following the twin influences of Meyerhold and Stanislavsky, of spectacle and psychological truth, it has created many of Russia’s most respected productions. This is their first visit to the UK. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Pericles

    • April 26 & 27
    • Athens, Greece

    The National Theatre of Greece are no strangers to London: Dimitris Rondiris’ productions of Hamlet and Electra played at His Majesty’s Theatre in 1939, and the company was a regular in the World Theatre Seasons at Aldwych in the 1960s and 1970s. Like Pericles, they have finally returned – with twelve of Greece’s leading actors – to tell this story of wild wanderings around the Mediterranean basin, and their redemptive conclusion. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Julius Caesar

    • May 1 & 2
    • Rome, Italy
    • I Termini Company Benvenuti / Lungta Production in collaboration with Teatro di Roma

    Where else but from Rome for Julius Caesar? In a sparse new translation by prizewinning playwright Vincenzo Manna, Andrea Barraco’s Julius Caesar is set in a dreamlike yet contemporary Rome. The production opened in the ancient, haunting theatre in Gualtieri in the north of Italy, and will perform at the prestigious Teatro di Roma prior to the Globe. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Macbeth

    • May 8 & 10
    • Opole, Poland

    Macbeth is a hero. He and his friend Banquo, returning from battle, are met by three Witches who prophesy that Macbeth will become King. Macbeth confides in his wife and together they plot to murder King Duncan while he is sleeping in Macbeth’s castle. As Macbeth’s guilt and paranoia about his power grows, his acts become bloodier,and events spiral out of control. Raves and binges lighten the nights in Maja Kleczewska’s Dunsinane. In this sharply modern production which echoes the films of Lynch and Almodovar, transvestites, addicts and tracksuited gangsters wander the corridors and teeter on the brink of sanity. The Kochanowski Theatre is situated in Opole, once home of the theatrical visionary Jerzy Grotowski, and this pop culture interpretation continues a 21st century tradition of great Polish Macbeths in London. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Henry VI: Part 1

    • May 11 & 13
    • Belgrade, Serbia

    Nikita Milivojevic has directed in Sweden, the USA, and Greece and is the former Artistic Director of the celebrated BITEF festival – the most significant cultural forum in modern Serbia. He makes his debut in the UK with this thrilling drama of political scheming and military heroics. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Henry VI: Part 2

    • May 12 & 13
    • Tirana, Albania
    • National Theatre of Albania

    Since the early days of the new republic, the National Theatre of Albania has opened its repertoire to foreign plays, and experimented with forbidden authors. In the past twenty years they have performed plays from Albania and elsewhere to wide acclaim. Director Adonis Filipi will direct Shakespeare’s great meditation on riot and rebellion. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Henry VI: Part 3

    • May 12 & 13
    • Bitola, Macedonia
    • National Theatre of Bitola

    The third part of the Balkan trilogy is infused with live music, as traditional Macedonian songs punctuate the bloody action. This grand drama of civil war is given new life for the Globe by the National Theatre of Bitola, who staged the first play in the Macedonian language following the liberation of the country from the Axis Powers in 1944. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • King John

    • May 16 & 17
    • Yerevan, Armenia

    Shakespeare has always had a strong influence in the Caucasus, and nowhere more powerfully than in Armenia. Poets, playwrights, actors and audiences have all lived and worked within his generous shade, and he has proven an enduring symbol of freedom in times of oppression. Many great actors and directors have emerged from Armenia to go on to great international success, and this is the first visit of their national theatre to the UK. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • King Lear

    • May 17 & 18
    • Minsk, Belarus

    Belarus Free Theatre was founded in March 2005 by husband and wife team Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada, and joined by Vladimir Scherban. Their performances in Belarus are held secretly, in small private apartments, the location of which, due to the risk of persecution, must constantly be changed. Despite suffering every form of intimidation and harassment, BFT continue to produce great theatre that is recognised internationally. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • As You Like It

    • May 18 & 19
    • Tbilisi, Georgia

    One of the most revered theatres in Georgia, itself one of the world’s great theatre cultures, the Marjanishvili, founded in 1928, appears regularly at theatre festivals all over the world. This new production of As You Like It is helmed by the company’s Artistic Director Levan Tsuladze (founder of the Basement Theatre in Tbilisi), known for his energetic, high-tempo and wildly imaginative productions of European classics. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Love’s Labour’s Lost

    • May 22 & 23
    • London, England

    By translating the rich, pun-riddled text of Love’s Labour’s Lost into the physical language of BSL, Deafinitely Theatre create a new interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedy, accessible to theatre goers of all backgrounds. Deafinitely, who have worked at the Soho Theatre and the Tricycle Theatre, aim to build a bridge between deaf and hearing worlds by performing to both groups as one audience. This is the first time this has been attempted with a full Shakespeare play. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Henry VIII

    • May 29 & 30
    • Madrid, Spain

    In 1533, the Spanish were enraged by Catherine of Aragon’s divorce from Henry VIII. Eighty years later, Shakespeare engaged with the subject in his last play. Now four hundred years later, Rakata, Madrid’s premier young classical company, re-imagine this play from a Spanish perspective, with the thrilling clarity they bring to their productions of Spanish Golden Age work. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Timon of Athens

    • May 31 & June 1
    • Bremen, Germany

    In 1993 bremer shakespeare company performed The Merry Wives of Windsor on the building site of the Globe Theatre. They have staged over 40 Shakespeare productions in their home on the western bank of the Weser in Bremen, and have toured throughout Europe and Asia. Nineteen years after The Merry Wives, they return with a bold, wild and bouncy production of Timon of Athens, the perfect play for our times. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Much Ado about Nothing

    • June 1 & 2
    • Paris, France
    • Compagnie Hypermobile

    In the Cartoucherie de Vincennes outside Paris, sits a bold and enterprising venue, the Théâtre de la Tempête. Clément Poirée’s Hypermobile company are one of the principal groups who give this theatre its impressive reputation. Poirée’s new production, running at la Tempête in winter 2011, is a bittersweet take on Much Ado About Nothing, set amid the hypertensions of an Italian restaurant. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Hamlet

    • June 2 & 3
    • Vilnius, Lithuania

    Legendary Lithuanian director Eimuntas Nekrosius’ Hamlet is one of the most celebrated Shakespearean productions of our age. It has toured the world and is now coming to London for the first time. Nekrosius’ work, universally regarded as a new chapter in theatre history, engages with the sheer diversity of human nature, at once funny and violent, visceral and light-hearted, and always deeply compelling. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Henry V

    • June 8 - 10
    • London, England

    The Globe to Globe festival closes with a production of Shakespeare’s spine-tingling masterpiece of the turbulence of war, and the art of peace. The play which opened both the first and the new Globe with the words ‘O, for a Muse of fire…’ celebrates the power of English, or any other language, to summon into life courts, pubs, ships and battlefields, within the embrace of ‘the wooden O’. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Sonnet Sunday

    • April 22
    • London, England

    On 22 April The Globe opened its doors for a free open day. 29 performers recited Shakespeare’s sonnets in over 30 different languages whilst an international food market tempted the tastebuds. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • The Comedy of Errors

    • 16 Mar - 6 Oct
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    Shakespeare’s joyful comedy of mistaken identity follows the fortunes of two sets of identical twins, accidentally separated at birth, then miraculously thrown together again. In a town the size of Ephesus, events like these can only lead to confusion. Directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi, The Comedy of Errors plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, as part of What Country Friends Is This? together with Twelfth Night and The Tempest. This epic trilogy of Shakespeare’s shipwreck plays, exploring love, loss and reunion, is performed by one company of actors. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Roundhouse, London.

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  • The Tempest

    • 30 March - 7 October
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    Prospero is usurped from his position as Duke of Milan and cast away with his daughter to a remote island. Twelve years later, and intent on revenge, he raises a magical tempest that shipwrecks his enemies on his shores. What begins as a search for retribution develops into a journey of acceptance and compassion in Shakespeare’s final play. Directed by David Farr, The Tempest plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, as part of What Country Friends Is This? together with Twelfth Night and The Comedy of Errors. This epic trilogy of Shakespeare’s shipwreck plays, exploring love, loss and reunion, is performed by one company of actors. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Roundhouse, London.

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  • Twelfth Night

    • 8 March - 6 October
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    Shipwrecked on the shores of a strange land, Viola believes her twin brother Sebastian drowned. Disguising herself as a boy to work in the court of Count Orsino, she finds herself a go-between for the man she serves and the woman who refuses to love him. Directed by David Farr, Twelfth Night plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, as part of What Country Friends Is This? together with The Comedy of Errors and The Tempest. This epic trilogy of Shakespeare’s shipwreck plays, exploring love, loss and reunion, is performed by one company of actors. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Roundhouse, London.

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  • I, Cinna (The Poet)

    • 13 June - 6 July
    • Brighton, England

    Written for ages 11+, I,Cinna (The Poet) is Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar told through the eyes of a jiggling fool. Cinna asks the young audience to consider the relationship between words and actions, art and politics, self and society. During the performance he will ask students to write poems with him: small poems on big themes. These poems can be reworked after the performance and sent to the RSC, where a web archive of responses to the play will be created. I,Cinna is the latest in a series of solo shows written and directed by Tim Crouch inspired by Shakespeare’s lesser characters, including I, Peaseblossom and I, Malvolio. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  • Julius Caesar

    • 28 May - 15 September
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    The dictator must be assassinated. But who will replace him? Shakespeare’s great political thriller, Julius Caesar, finds dark, contemporary echoes in modern Africa, directed by RSC Chief Associate Director Gregory Doran. Gregory’s most recent productions include Shakespeare’s ‘lost play’ Cardenio, re-imagined as part of the RSC’s 50th birthday celebrations, as well as his 2008 production of Hamlet. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Noel Coward Theatre, London.

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  • King John

    • 6 April - 15 September
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    King John’s claim to the throne is challenged by France, which threatens war unless he steps aside in favour of his nephew, Arthur. A bitter, political struggle ensues as a weakened King clings to power, no matter what the cost. Maria Aberg has directed for the Royal Court, RSC, Soho Theatre and Southwark Playhouse. Her recent RSC productions include Days of Significance (Swan Theatre/TricycleTheatre/UK Tour 2009) and The Gods Weep by Dennis Kelly (Hampstead Theatre 2010). Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  • Much Ado About Nothing

    • 26 July - 27 October
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    This vibrant and colourful production transposes Shakespeare’s vivacious, and at times unsettling, comedy of love and deceit to an Indian setting. Much Ado About Nothing is directed by Iqbal Khan whose credits include Broken Glass (Tricycle Theatre, 2011) and The Killing of Sister George (Arts Theatre, 2011). Actress, comedienne, writer and singer, Meera Syal, will play Beatrice. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Noel Coward Theatre, London.

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  • Richard III

    • 22 March - 15 September
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    Power-hungry Richard, Duke of Gloucester, plots, manipulates and murders his way to the throne in Shakespeare’s brilliant expose of this infamous monarch. Roxana Silbert directs a company of actors, who will also perform A Soldier In Every Son – An Aztec Trilogy. Formerly Artistic Director of Paines Plough Theatre Company, she is Artistic Director (Designate) of Birmingham Repertory Theatre and an Associate Director of the RSC. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  • A Tender Thing

    • 27 September - 20 October
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    Ben Power weaves together the words of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in a touching story of two lovers. Familiar lines echo through a story that celebrates the timelessness of Shakespeare’s language, in a beautiful and heartbreaking world where hope triumphs over all. Kathryn Hunter revisits the role with director Helena Kaut-Howson that she created for the RSC at Northern Stage in 2009. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It)

    • 10 - 26 August
    • Moscow, Russia

    Shakespeare’s magical, shape-shifting play. From Russia comes the world premiere of Dmitry Krymov’s interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Dmitry Krymov is a director, artist and designer whose visually stunning productions have established him as one of the most original directorial voices of his generation. Expect his take on Shakespeare’s most magical of comedies to be unlike any Dream you have seen before. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Edinburgh International Festival.

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  • Of All the People in All the World

    • 14 April - 31 July
    • Birmingham, England

    The theatre company Stan’s Cafe are bringing 989kg of rice to the RSC, a grain for everyone in the country. An array of local and global human statistics will be weighed out in rice and arranged in labelled piles by a team of auditors.The work will evolve and respond to real time events, news and performances as they happen during the World Shakespeare Festival. By presenting statistics in tangible form, Stan’s Cafe, for 2012, will create for us a playful and at times politically charged work of art. Showing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  • Pericles

    • 5-7 Oct
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    A new and exciting collaboration between amateur theatre makers and the RSC’s professional creative and production teams. Pericles will see a cast of amateur performers working with RSC directors, designers, stage managers and technicians to create an exhilarating new production of Shakespeare’s tragic romance. Pericles is part of What Country Friends Is This? together with Twelfth Night and The Tempest and The Comedy of Errors. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  • Rape of Lucrece

    • 22 - 26 August
    • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

    Shakespeare’s tragic poem The Rape of Lucrece, a terrible tale of lust, rape and politics, is both beautiful and violent. From political chronicle to sexual thriller, the poem’s exquisite tragedy is fully revealed in an hypnotic evening of song and storytelling. In this compelling and provocative performance by the internationally acclaimed singer Camille O’Sullivan, with original music played live by Feargal Murray, Camille inhabits the souls of both Tarquin and Lucrece, narrating the fate of each. Playing at the Edinburgh International Festival.

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  • Falstaff

    • 15 - 30 May
    • London, England

    Verdi’s last masterpiece receives a lavish new production for Covent Garden under director Robert Carsen, as the portly knight of Shakespeare’s comedy takes to the stage, larger than life. The fast-paced wit of the action, with its jealousy, intrigue, confusion and comic chaos is set to music of the most consummate invention. With a bravura ending in praise of laughter itself, Falstaff is a wonderful way to experience all the colour and character of opera at its most entertaining and rewarding. Playing at the Royal Opera House, London.

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  • Otello

    • 12 - 14 July
    • London, England

    Elijah Moshinsky’s masterly production first seen in 1987 provides the frame for Verdi’s 1887 tragic operatic battle between good and evil. Otello was the immediate predecessor to Verdi’s last opera Falstaff and reflects Verdi’s great affinity for Shakespeare in all his dramatic variety. Few composers have ventured to make a musical version of so highly regarded a literary classic with such effortless assurance and interpretative command. Verdi finds a musical language to express both the heroism and inner horror of the Venetian general Otello, tricked into believing in the faithlessness of his pure wife Desdemona. Playing at the Royal Opera House, London.

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  • The Dark Side of Love

    • 26 June - 8 July 2012
    • London, England

    For many of Shakespeare’s most tragic characters, love represents not an ascent into heavenly bliss, but a descent into hellish despair. So it’s fitting that Brazilian director Renato Rocha will be staging his exploration of Shakespeare’s most painful and poignant moments deep in the Dorfman Hub space beneath the Roundhouse. This unique underground space will be transformed into a dreamlike underworld that draws on the rich cultural tapestry of Brazil and will be suffused with stunning digital projections. Featuring scenes from Hamlet, Othello and Romeo and Juliet and performed in promenade by a cast of London teenagers, The Dark Side of Love is an intense and atmospheric experience. The audience are encouraged to lose themselves in the action, whilst the characters lose themselves in the most extreme of emotions as they search for the light of love glimmering through the darkness. Playing at the Roundhouse, London.

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  • King Lear

    • 31 August - 3 November
    • London, England

    Michael Attenborough, Artistic Director of London’s Almeida Theatre, brings Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy to the intimacy of the Almeida stage. As Lear asks each of his daughters to profess their love for him, he is flattered by the false hyperbole of Regan and Goneril. When his youngest daughter, Cordelia, confesses to love him simply as a daughter should, his pride is dented and he casts her out of his kingdom. Too late to realise his mistake, and forced from power by his offspring, an increasingly impotent and frail Lear descends into madness. Playing at the Almeida Theatre, London.

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  • Timon of Athens

    • 10 July - 9 September
    • London, England

    Wealthy friend to the rich and powerful, patron of the arts, ostentatious host, Timon of Athens showers gifts and hospitality on the city’s elite. He vastly outspends his resources but, finding his coffers empty, reassures his loyal steward that all will be well. When he calls upon his erstwhile associates, instead of offering help, they hang him out to dry. After a final, vengeful banquet, Timon withdraws to a literal and emotional wasteland, living off roots and pouring ever more surreal curses on a morally bankrupt Athens. Simon Russell Beale takes the title role in Shakespeare’s strange fable of conspicuous consumption, debt and ruin, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton. Playing at the National Theatre, London.

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  • Shakespeare: Staging the World

    • 19 July - 15 November
    • London, England

    This exciting exhibition, supported by BP and in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company, will combine amazing objects with contemporary performance, uniquely illustrating the emerging role of London as a world city 400 years ago through the innovative perspective of Shakespeare’s plays. Showing at the British Museum, London.

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  • 2008: Macbeth

    • 11 - 18 August
    • Warsaw, Poland

    A spectacularly visual interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragedy. Set in a contemporary and brutal middle-eastern conflict, 2008: Macbeth is unflinching in its depiction of the machine of violence. With spectacular pyrotechnics, immersive video effects and an extraordinary soundscape, Shakespeare’s political play is transformed into a contemporary living theatrical film. Playing at the Edinburgh International Festival.

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  • Coriolan/us

    • 9 - 18 August
    • Bridgend, Wales

    The story of Coriolanus is re-imagined in an era of 24-hour news, celebrity culture and a new global polity. With outside broadcasts from the battlefield, grievances delivered straight to camera and audience participants, this production is a mash-up of previous attempts to get to grips with a contrary and perplexing figure. Venue in South Wales, to be confirmed.

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  • The Rest is Silence

    • 2 May - 30 June
    • Brighton, England

    An ambitious textual and visual deconstruction of Hamlet, interweaving performance, film and installation to create a vigorous new interpretation that cuts to the heart of the play. Meditative and dreamlike in quality, the hallmark of dreamthinkspeak’s productions, The Rest is Silence will be performed within a specially designed and multilayered structure, allowing the action to unfold on different levels and on all sides. Playing at the Brighton Festival, Riverside Studios, London, and the Northern Stage, Newcastle.

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  • West Side Story

    • 4 - 7 July
    • Gateshead, England

    A stunning, full-scale production of Bernstein’s West Side Story with bold, new choreography by Will Tuckett. Also directed by Will Tuckett, West Side Story is conducted by renowned conductor and musical director John Wilson. The cast will feature the very best in exciting new and emerging talent, from professionals at the outset of their musical career to semi-professionals and amateurs. Playing at the Sage Gateshead.

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  • Y Storm (The Tempest)

    • 4 - 11 August
    • Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

    On a remote island, in the depth of sleep, a storm is brewing. After years of preparation, Prospero whips up the waves of destruction on a passing fleet. But providence turns tragedy to comedy as the motley shipwrecked crew trudge their way around the island to face their fate. Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, under Arwel Gruffydd’s artistic leadership, is the Welsh language national theatre of Wales. Playing at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Vale of Glamorgan.

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  • Forests

    • 31 August - 15 September
    • Barcelona, Spain and Birmingham, England

    With a cast of English and Catalan actors, Forests is an original play inspired by Shakespeare’s references to forests throughout his work and is a Dante-esque journey through life, paradise, hell, truth and lies. Inspired by Timon Of Athens, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Macbeth, As You Like It and the “forest”… a place for the getaway, a punishment or sentence, and, sometimes, a place for shelter and redemption. Playing at the Birmingham REP, Birmingham.

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  • In a Pickle

    • 23 May - 30 June
    • London, England

    A brand new wonderland and a total theatre experience for children aged 2 to 4, their families and friends. Inspired by The Winter’s Tale, Oily Cart take young audiences on a voyage of discovery through the landscapes of Shakespeare’s imagination and the music of his language. The adventure begins in the woolly pastures of the Shepherdess and her flock of little sheep. She is having a party to celebrate the sheep shearing. When she discovers a lost baby, clues must be followed. Travel over the salty sea to the sad court where a happy ending will be found. There will be beautiful costumes, enchanting live music, some helpful clues, lovely perfumes and delightful textures along the way. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Stratford Circus, London, and the Northern Stage, Newcastle.

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North America

  • Othello

    • May 5 & 6
    • Chicago, USA
    • Q Brothers with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Richard Jordan Productions
    • Q Brothers

    A fresh urban take on Shakespeare’s tragedy spun out, smashed up and lyrically rewritten over original beats. The Q Brothers are America’s leading re-interpreters of Shakespeare through hip hop. They return to London following their award-winning international tours of Bombitty of Errors and Funk It Up About Nothin’. The CST is dedicated to creating and producing classic productions that unlock Shakespeare’s work for audiences from all walks of life. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Henry IV: Part 1

    • May 14 & 15
    • Mexico City, Mexico

    Created in 1977, the National Theatre is one of Mexico’s leading cultural institutions. Under Artistic Director Luis de Tavira, the company stages classics, new Mexican plays and contemporary drama from around the world. This new production of Shakespeare’s great dramatisation of madness in the land and mayhem in the pub, is directed by the electrifying young director Hugo Arrevillaga. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • A Soldier in Every Son – The Rise of the Aztecs

    • 29 June - 28 July
    • Mexico City, Mexico

    Late 14th century in the Valley of Mexico and a small, unknown tribe called the Aztecs propel themselves from nomadic mercenaries to rulers of a great empire. Passion, power and intrigue play out in this epic political thriller which charts the history of an ancient civilisation. Spanning a century and based on true events chronicled in the Aztec codices, A Soldier In Every Son – The Rise of the Aztecs is closely inspired by Shakespeare’s history plays. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  • Troilus and Cressida

    • 3 - 18 August
    • New York, New York

    Shakespeare’s epic Trojan play about love, war and politics. Mark Ravenhill and Elizabeth LeCompte co-direct an Anglo-American company in a groundbreaking, multi-media collaboration between the RSC and The Wooster Group. New York-based The Wooster Group is well known for its experimental and innovative style. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon.

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  • Desdemona

    • 19 & 20 July 2012
    • Oberlin, USA and Kolokani, Mali
    • Barbican with Toni Morrison, Rokia Traore and Peter Sellars
    • Barbican

    Malian singer/songwriter Rokia Traoré and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison, two women of African and African American origin, come together to create Desdemona, an intimate and profound conversation between Shakespeare’s Desdemona and her African nurse Barbary, from beyond the grave. An intimate performance that allows the audience to connect deeply with the two women who have the microphone at last. Playing at the Barbican, London.

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Oceania

  • Troilus and Cressida

    • April 23 & 24
    • Auckland, New Zealand

    The dramatic festivities open with the group who have travelled furthest. Rawiri Paratene (star of Whale Rider) has assembled New Zealand’s best Maori actors for a production of Troilus and Cressida. In an exquisite translation by Te Haumihiata Mason, the production will incorporate many aspects of Maori culture; the haka (warrior dance) and waiata (song), especially created by the best composers and choreographers of Aotearoa. Ti hei mauriora! Playing at The Globe, London.

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South America

  • Henry IV: Part 2

    • May 15 & 16
    • Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Ruben Szuchmacher, one of Argentina’s most influential and controversial directors, brings a new production of this elegiac and funny masterpiece. A celebrated defender of the theatre’s freedom from the state, his work combines the richness of Shakespeare’s texts with a simple theatrical aesthetic. His approach has won him great acclaim as one of the most admired Shakespearean artists in South America. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Romeo and Juliet

    • May 19 & 20
    • Belo Horizonte, Brazil

    Perhaps the Americas’ most famous production of the most famous play ever, Grupo Galpão’s carnivalesque Romeo and Juliet returns to the Globe with its thrilling mix of circus, music, dance and Brazilian folk culture. The only festival participants to have played at Shakespeare’s Globe before, they bring the promise of a cavalcade of passion. Playing at The Globe, London.

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  • Two Roses for Richard III

    • 7 - 23 May
    • Brazil
    • Companhia Bufomecânica

    Brazilian theatre company Companhia Bufomecânica arrive in the UK with their with their beautiful and stylized production Two Roses for Richard III. A visually stunning interpretation of Shakespeare’s history plays, it combines theatre, music, circus, aerial skills and striking imagery to create an innovative retelling of Shakespeare’s most famous stories. Playing at the RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Roundhouse, London.

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