I had no intention of writing a trilogy on Mister Shakespeare but, considering the following nicked from the BBC, I thought I would end up with it if only to reiterate what a global phenomenon he is and what a disaster it would be for the Shakespeareans to lose their idol. Some of the waffle from various people has been omitted. People can be toe-curling embarrassing when asked to voice an opinion, like actors thanking everyone including God for winning a prize. Some of the ones left are toe curling enough.
“The World Shakespeare Festival is the ‘trump card’ putting art at the heart of the Olympics", the head of the Cultural Olympiad has said. What on earth is the cultural Olympiad? That’s a new one on me.
“There will be thousands of performers in 70 productions, with global artists acting in their own languages.
Festival director Deborah Shaw said at the launch of the festival, which is being produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, that it would "redefine what's possible in creating a festival in a global age." (?)
There will also be two performances in Arabic - a Tunisian company will do a version of the Scottish play while the Iraqi Theatre Company will perform Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad. More than 50 arts organisations will take part in the festival, which is being supported by BP and the National Lottery.
The Globe, on the banks of the Thames, has already announced that it will present all of Shakespeare's plays, staging one production itself with the remaining 36 plays each performed in a different language by a different company from around the world.
The aim will be to celebrate "the vast array of ethnic communities and languages that make up London's vibrant multi-cultural landscape." More than 260 amateur groups, with 7,200 performers aged from six to 90, will perform their own interpretations of Shakespeare everywhere from castles, parks and village halls to pubs, churches and a coffin works. Michael Boyd, artistic director of the RSC, said it was the most "outrageously collaborative of festivals", adding it was important to "step outside the familiar" and seeing Shakespeare performed by global artists would allow audiences to do this. Mayor of London Boris Johnson added: "William Shakespeare is our greatest cultural export, and is quite rightly considered to be the finest writer of all time.”
This festival is a fantastic opportunity for these fine works to be brought to a new generation of schoolchildren, while at the same time reminding existing fans of Shakespeare's unparalleled insights into the workings of the human heart." Say no more.
The festival will run from 23 April to 9 September next year with more than a million tickets going on sale from 10 October.”
And that is the news for today, the 20th September.