22 Jan 2016

Shakespeare in China and the world

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Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company will conduct its first major tour of China in 2016, performing three of Shakespeare's history plays.  The programme is organised in line with Shakespeare Lives a major global programme for 2016 to celebrate Shakespeare’s works and his influence on culture, education and society on the 400th anniversary of his death.

Deutsche Welle reports on the RSC China tour:

Chinese audiences will soon be able to enjoy the Bard's tales of court life, kingship and bloody battles in medieval England and France during a tour by one of Britain's most famous theatre companies.

The China tour by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in February and March will mark 400 years since the death of the famous playwright, whose works are already popular with Chinese audiences and are widely taught at universities in the country.

The company will be performing artistic director Gregory Doran's productions of "Henry IV - Part I" "Henry IV - Part II" and "Henry V" in Beijing (18-21 February), Shanghai (25-28 February) and Hong Kong (4-13 March).

The RSC, which is based in the playwright's birthplace of Stratford-on-Avon, is undertaking the tour as part of a wider cultural artistic and educational exchange with China.

The program also includes the project of making new Chinese translations of Shakespeare's works, and creating English versions of Chinese classics.

Read RSC Press Release on RSC in China

Shakespeare Lives  is a year of Shakespeare for 2016. It will not only explore the global legacy of one of the world’s greatest playwrights and poets, but also continue to demonstrate how his stories, themes and language are relevant in the modern world and must remain central to the lives of future generations. Activities range from a unique online collaboration to performances on stage and film, exhibitions, public readings, conversations and debates and educational resources for classrooms and English language learners. People around the world in over 140 countries and of all ages will have the chance to actively participate and get involved throughout the year.

  • The Royal Shakespeare Company is currently offering a free MOOC online course on OTHELLO: In Performance. Explore how Othello has been performed and interpreted, from its original staging to the modern day, with this free online course which starts on February 22: read more and register here 

  • Another MOOC is offered by Shakespeare Lives on Exploring English: Shakespeare. The free, six-week online course will look at the life, works and legacy of William Shakespeare, while giving participants the chance to practise their English language skills.