The Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival

The Shakespeare Festival is the largest, cyclical, international theatre event, organised each year in the first week of August in Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia (called TriCity). It is an international event combining performances’ presentations with artistic events, workshops, meetings with theatre creators. Its history begins in 1993, with the first Gdańsk Shakespeare Days, which later evolved into an international festival. The organizers are the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre and Theatrum Gedanense Foundation.

The festival presents the most interesting Shakespearean theatrical productions from Poland and abroad. During 17 editions of the event over 200 theatre companies from around 40 countries, including such exotic and faraway places as South Korea, Israel, Japan and Cuba, performed on the stages of the TriCity. The works of great masters of the theatre were staged, among them those of: Peter Brook, Luk Perceval, Elizabeth LeCompte, Lev Dodin, Oskaras Koršunovas, Roberto Ciulli, Edward Hall, Robert Sturua and many others. The event is accompanied by a contest for Best Polish Staging of Shakespeare’s Work of the Season with theatres from around the country competing for the award – the Golden Yorick. For years the festival has also included an extensive educational program „The Shakespeare Summer Academy”, aimed at young people from Poland and abroad. The Gdansk Shakespeare Festival is a place to experience theatre, a platform to for meetings and intellectual exchanges between artists, directors, actors, critics and animators from around the globe.

The festival organizers have been developing their cultural ties with organisations from around the world through creation of international projects and co-productions. The festival also initiated the idea of the European Shakespeare Festivals Network (ESFN) which was founded in Gdańsk. We aim to develop a community of people deeply devoted to Shakespeare and, in the future, intensely involved in the activity of the Gdansk Shakespearean Theatre, which will soon have its very own headquarters.

The 18th Gdansk Shakespeare Festival




Shakespeare im Globe Neuss Festival


It’s All Shakespeare! – The Globe and its Festival.


Who would have thought that the fast horses, winning jockeys and elegant ladies you usually see on a racecourse would, once a year, have to make way for the 100% pure pleasure of theatre. It’s a well-known fact that in Neuss many things are “a little different“. The visitor to the spacious city-centre racecourse in Neuss catches a sudden glimpse of an unusual, twelve-sided building with black and white shutters at its windows, standing under high poplars, between betting-hall and enclosure: The Globe.

This unconventional theatre – a construction of several storeys made of wood and steel – has stood on this site since 1991. There are more than 500 seats, and the seating is as unconventional as the building itself. The audience sits close up to each other in a half circle on three different levels, the actors on the stage seem near enough to touch. It is almost as if the audience is being asked to play a part, something which in fact does happen from time to time.
So the visitor to the Neuss Globe is never safe from (of course only pleasant) surprises. In short: theatre here is a real experience!

The Shakespeare Festival, which takes place annually in the early summer, is unique of its kind. It is organised by artistic director Dr. Rainer Wiertz, head of the cultural office Harald Müller and his crew and enjoys generous financial support on the part of its main sponsors Sparkasse Neuss and the “Friends of the Globe“. Fans of Shakespeare’s dramatic, turbulent, witty plays make the journey to the Rhine from all over Germany and are inspired by the atmosphere. It’s relaxed and uncomplicated and the theatre companies from all four corners of the world contribute to this, bringing international flair to Neuss for four weeks of the year in June and July. Whether from Zimbabwe, Italy or France, Switzerland, the USA or – naturally – Great Britain: companies such as “Over the Edge“, “Compagnie Casalibus“ or “The Watermill Theatre“ awaken our curiosity by their very names. What kind of magic will they work on stage? Creativity is of an essence, as the directors often have to do without complicated sets. Very much in the true spirit of Shakespearean theatre, it is rather the art of the actor which takes centre stage here. Their language, gestures and expressions, the costumes, the effective lighting and – last but not least – the theatre itself, in all its challenging simplicity, come together to create what can be called “typically Globe“. Spot on! Whether it’s Romeo and Juliet, Romeo et Juliette or Romeo e Giulietta, in which language do the lovers’ oaths sound most beautiful? Perhaps in German, because, German theatre companies are, of course members of the inner circle of the tried and tested “Globe people“. The performances of the Bremer Shakespeare Company, with which the whole festival actually began, are legendary. This is a festival which, by the way, is not limited to just the stage. It extends out into the welcoming (Shakes)-beer garden and into the truly dreamlike world of the transformed, candlelit betting-hall, where actors, Neuss theatre people and guests happily carouse deep into the night. It was no doubt no different 400 years ago in Elizabethan London. In the Wooden “O“, Shakespeare’s Globe, food and drink were a natural complement to the pleasures of eye and ear.

Shakespeare Festival 2014 – programme

International Shakespeare Festival Craiova

The Romanian International Shakespeare Festival was founded in Craiova, Romania, in 1994, and took place every three years during its first five editions. Since 2006, it has taken place every two years. The main organizers of the festival are the National Theatre Craiova (represented by its General Managing Director, Mr. Mircea Cornisteanu) and the “William Shakespeare” Foundation (Presided by Mr. Emil Boroghina), and, since 2006, it has also taken place in Bucharest, in collaboration with Arcub, the Centre for Cultural Projects of the Bucharest City Hall and General Council. Another important partner is the Romanian Cultural Institute.

In 2008, the Romanian Festival’s motto was “Great Directors, Great Performances, Great Theatres of Europe and of the World”, and it gathered on its poster the names of some of the most famous international directors such as:  Peter Brook, Robert Wilson, Declan Donnellan, Lev Dodin, Eimuntas Nekrosius, and Silviu Purcarete. The 2010 Festival was dedicated to only one play: “Hamlet”. The presentation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece in different directorial visions and interpretations (Thomas Ostermeier, Oskaras Korsunovas, Monica Pecikiewics, Yoshihiro Kurita, Yun Taek-Lee, Elizabeth LeCompte, Eimuntas Nekrosius etc.) represented an opportunity for theatre professionals and audiences to compare, discuss, comment, and debate. The motto of the 2012 International Shakespeare Festival in Romania will be: ”The world’s a stage, and we are the players”.

The Festival also includes seminars and conferences; workshops on acting, directing, design and criticism; film projections of famous performances; symphonic concerts; theatre design, painting, photographic, and philatelic exhibitions, as well as theatre book and DVD launches. The numerous foreign and Romanian theatre critics attending the festival along the years have talked about the high standard of this event and placed it among the best thematic European festivals. The Romanian Theatre Association UNITER granted the International Shakespeare Festival its most important award, the Prize for Excellency.

2014 International Craiova Shakespeare Festival




York International Shakespeare Festival


The York International Shakespeare Festival is a major new cultural venture for York and for the North of England. It emerges from a new partnership between the York Theatre Royal, the University of York and Parrabbola.

With a 2000 year history, York is at one and the same time both Roman and Medieval, a military and mercantile centre, with a Victorian industrial heritage and a thriving modern outlook. One of the most beautiful and most historic cities in Britain, York was the powerhouse of the North of England in Shakespearean times and is the ideal location to reflect on the variety and complexity of Shakespeare as Europe’s playwright.

The York International Shakespeare Festival will launch in May 2015 for the first of its annual Spring programmes and will include productions by major established companies delivering Shakespeare in recognisable and affecting ways alongside experimental new work challenging received ideas about specific plays and, in some cases, about the business of theatre itself. As a member of the prestigious European Shakespeare Festivals Network, we look forward to fruitful and exciting collaborations with other Shakespeare festivals across Europe.

The new York International Shakespeare Festival will feature exciting and adventurous artists both from around the world and from closer to home, with a focus on the Shakespeare of the North. In addition, some of Shakespeare’s many lives and afterlives across other media – including film, music and fine art – will be richly explored as part of the programme. There will be family friendly events for children, and an international conference for academics. Young people will produce a series of events designed to appeal to young audiences, and a showcase opportunity will profile experimental and innovative work, to promoters and Shakespeareans from the UK and overseas.

With banners throughout the city, performances on the streets, in the theatres, in churches and simply popping up where you least expect them, and with an influx of Shakespeareans from around the world, for the ten days of the Festival – York will be the city of Shakespeare.

york 1 York 2 York 3

Shakespeare Festival Gyula

The Gyula Castle Theatre operates in the court of the only brick castle that has survived in Central Europe. Between the beginning of July and 10th of August the guests are entertained with the best performances of historical and modern dramas, different forms of prosaic theatre, opera, musical, ballet, mediaeval courtyard-music, jazz, blues, classic-, folk-music concerts, puppet shows and folk and modern dance performances in the summer theatre. Not only the court of the fortress is turned into a theatre, but programmes of great variety are available on the nearby Lake-stage and on stages set up at different places in the town.

Since 2005 Gyula Castle Theatre has been organising the international Shakespeare Festival. The two-week Shakespeare Festival is part of the six-week all-art festival-program of Gyula Castle Theatre as an individual festival.The main programme of the Shakespeare Festival is:Every year it starts with one new production from Gyula, which appears on stage several times. Every year  it hosts at least three performances: one from inland and two from abroad. The festival hosted the best international artists’ works: Peter Brook, Robert Sturua, Eimuntas Nekrosius, Oskaras Korsunovas, Andrei Serban, Silviu Purcarete and many more. And the best Hungarian artists appear here, too.In addition to the main programme,  to colour the festival with the first appearance of theatrical performances and other genres in the sub-program, guests can enjoy renaissance and modern music concerts, street theatre performances, alternative theatrical performances, the performances of students of dramatic art, screening of films, Shakespeare conferences, and Shakespeare-time cuisine – gastronomy.

The performances were chosen after the suggestions made by the six-member Shakespeare Committee.

Summer Shakespeare Festival Ostrava

The Shakespeare Festival at the Silesian-Moravian Castle is a festival which is a part of a large Czech-Slovak project called The Summer Shakespeare Festival. It has been held each summer (for the past 9 years) in Prague (CZ), Brno (CZ), Bratislava (SK),and it was also introduced to the public in Ostrava (CZ) and Kosice (SK) in 2008.

Here, in Ostrava, the festival is produced by PaS de Theatre s.r.o. company. It is the largest dramatic festival in the City of Ostrava and in the Moravian-Silesian region itself. Since 2008, the festival has been visited by about 40,000 visitors. It was a strong success, no free tickets left. We have also had the honour to bring The Krakow Theatre (Poland) with Mr Jerzy Stuhr performing “Richard III”. on two nights, “As you like it” by JAY production (Slovakia), “The tempest” (Schok – Prague) and “The comedy of errors” (PaS de Theatre – Ostrava). It is an advantage of the region, being so close to the borders of Poland and Slovakia, that we can  attract performers from those countries and interested visitors. As a continuous part of the festival, the organiser – PaS de Theatre – produces its own plays specifically for the purpose of the festival. We always use local artists or artists connected to the region. Our goal is to promote the local artistic community elsewhere – at the moment we always perform in Brno (CZ), Prague (CZ), Bratislava (SK) – and we hope to develop this further and perform at other festivals – if possible.

Shakespeare’s Festival of Catalonia


The Shakespeare Festival was born in 2003 in Santa Susanna, a small town in the Maresme region (Catalonia - Spain).

In 2008, the festival moved to Mataró, the capital of the region, where the audience enjoyed its presence until 2010. Although we intended to spread our project throughout the Catalan territory, it was the city of Barcelona that hosted the 10th edition of Shakespeare Festival in 2013.

Managed by La Perla 29, the headquarters of the new festival is the Library of Catalonia, placed in a very heart of the Raval district. We hope that the Gothic nave of the Library will become a special place for our Shakespeare Lovers. Our aim is to create a network in the Raval district and other areas of the city. Thus, we would welcome more institutions willing to collaborate in organizing Shakespeare festivals, such as the Romea Theatre, the Film Archive of Catalonia, the Barcelona University, the Centre for Contemporary Culture…

The productions of William Shakespeare’s plays establish a core of the festival, but their formats are of great diversity. We desire to produce art, to co-produce and stage performances in the Shakespearean atmosphere but with a modern touch.

La Perla 29, the theatrical production enterprise directed by Oriol Broggi, Julio Manrique as director of the Romea Theatre, FOCUS Group and our organizing team have shaped the new version of the Shakespeare Festival that was presented in the city of Barcelona in June 2013.

The next editions of the Festival will be held in Autumn.