Globe to Globe
Globe to Globe is an international celebration of Shakespeare, at the Globe in London and around the world. It began with the 2012 Globe to Globe festival, and continues with the Globe’s extraordinary attempt to tour Hamlet to every country in the world between April 2014 and April 2016. Furthermore, every year Shakespeare’s Globe invites a number of international productions of Shakespeare as part of its summer theatre season.
Globe to Globe 2012
Between April and June 2012, Shakespeare’s Globe invited artists from all over the world to take part in its hugely ambitious multi-lingual Globe to Globe Festival as part of the London 2012 Festival. For the first time ever, 37 international companies performed all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages. Over 85,000 tickets were sold, many people taking advantage of multiple ticket offers to come back again and again to enjoy the enormous variety on stage. There were nearly 4,000 bookings for multiple shows from over 77 countries, and over 36,000 theatre-goers saw a production for only £5 with 117 people running the theatrical marathon of seeing every production for £100 with the Matinee Yard Olympian.
The Globe’s aim to open the doors to London’s many diverse communities to see Shakespeare performed in their own languages vastly exceeded expectations. 80% of bookings comprised new audiences coming to the Globe for the very first time, an extraordinary achievement of which the Globe is proud. The theatre received enthusiastic reactions from both audiences and visiting companies as they relished the interplay of Shakespeare performed and experienced in their native tongue – in Bangla, Polish, Spanish, Hindi, Japanese, Urdu, Turkish, Mandarin, Arabic to mention a few. Language proved no barrier and feedback from English-speaking audiences revealed delight and fascination in savouring Shakespeare in other languages, allowing them to discover new perspectives of his plays and to enjoy the rich array of cultures. Also in one of many firsts created by the festival, a Shakespeare play was performed in its entirety in British Sign Language festival.
Globe to Globe presented 14 world premieres in addition to the many productions created especially for the festival. In a herculean feat of logistics, the Festival Director Tom Bird and his team brought 37 visiting companies, many of the world’s greatest directors and over 600 actors from across the globe to Shakespeare’s Globe. Companies received a warm welcome followed by a break-neck 3-day schedule of rehearsal, technical rehearsal, and two performances on consecutive days, an equally warm send off, then home. Visiting companies were thrilled to be performing within the Globe’s ‘wooden O’ and to experience the uniqueness of the space.
Nikita Milivojevic, director of National Theatre Belgrade, commented: “I was thinking that if I have to choose some moments from my theatre life until now, last night was the one that I am going to remember forever”.
Kyu Choi from South Korea’s Yohangza Theatre Company added: “As an artist, if you’re really into Shakespeare’s work, performing in Shakespeare’s home at the Globe, that’s a great honor for us.”
Rawiri Paratene of Ngākau Toa from New Zealand said: “The first time I stepped onto the Globe stage, I said to myself, I would love to return one day with the troupe of Maori actors because we would be right at home on this stage. Last night, our company did the Maori Troilus and Cressida and we did it in a language to an audience that had mostly no knowledge of our language – some scene by scene sub-titles to help them along with the story. And they laughed at us, they cried with us, they sat through it and at the end they stood up and yelled and cheered and that was a blast to do that.”
Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of the Globe, concludes: “Globe to Globe has proved the most extraordinary pulling together of high art, compelling story-telling, and powerful acts of community. It has wildly exceeded our expectations, and proved an unforgettable experience for visiting artists and new audiences.”
Ruth Mackenzie, Director, London 2012 Festival, said: ‘The ambition of the London 2012 Festival is to show new audiences world class art. The Globe has exceeded expectations by gaining 80% of bookings through new audiences, many of whom were from the communities represented on stage. This will be a great encouragement to events taking place across the UK this summer for the London 2012 Festival.’
Globe to Globe 2012 was part of the World Shakespeare Festival for the London 2012 Festival, the cultural celebrations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The World Shakespeare Festival and Globe to Globe is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor.
Globe to Globe Hamlet
On 23 April 2014 – the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth – Shakespeare’s Globe will embark on a two-year global tour of Hamlet that will take in every country in the world. The ‘Globe to Globe Hamlet’, directed by the Globe’s Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole, will be a completely unprecedented theatrical adventure.
The small company of actors will travel to all nations in the world to stage Hamlet in a huge range of unique and atmospheric venues, from town squares to national theatres. They will travel by boat, train, car and aeroplane, planning their routes across the seven continents to minimise the tour’s carbon footprint as much as possible.
The tour is already scheduled to play in some of the most extraordinary locations on Earth – further announcements will be made later in the year. To see where we are going visit http://globetoglobe.shakespearesglobe.com
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