25th Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival Programme
The jubilee 25th edition of the Shakespeare Festival in Gdańsk will be held on July 30 – August 8, 2021. We will see performances from: Portugal, Italy, Lithuania, Belgium and Poland. The organizers of the Shakespeare Festival are the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theater and the Theatrum Gedanense Foundation. This is a special edition, not only because of a quarter of a century of this prestigious event. This is the first festival that will take place without its founder and artistic director, Professor Jerzy Limon, who died in March 2021. However, the program of this year’s edition is his work.
The festival will be inaugurated by the first own production of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theater – William Shakespeare’s The Tempest directed by Szymon Kaczmarek. An important part of the program of the 25th edition of the Festival will also be the work of one of the leading Lithuanian theater artists, Oskaras Koršunovas, winner of the most important European theater awards. His „Othello” performed by the actors of the OKT Theater from Vilnius is the seventh staging of Shakespeare’s works by the director. Many of his productions: „A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, „Romeo and Juliet”. „Miranda” (based on „The Tempest”) was hosted at the Shakespeare Festival in Gdańsk, gaining recognition as the best performances – both by the audience and critics. As Oskaras Koršunovas says, theater is an instrument that helps us get to know ourselves and the society we live in better. The reason why he uses Shakespeare’s plays so often is because he is one of the playwrights who create perfect matrices for the modern world in their works. The highlight of this year’s festival will certainly be the work of the Portuguese director Tiago Rodrigues, performed with the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II ensemble – the performance „Antony and Cleopatra”. It is a poetic and elaborate adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, inspired in part by Plutarch’s text about Mark Antony in „Lives of Famous Men”, in part by Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film „Cleopatra” (1963), as well as other stories collected about these characters. Tiago Rodrigues, one of the most fascinating authors and directors of contemporary theater, gives us his own vision of the myth.
Amateurs of world-class theater will also be pleased with the latest show by the famous Belgian group Needcompany, „Billy’s Violence”, produced by the Flemish director and visual artist Jan Lauwers on the basis of Shakespeare’s 13 tragedies, which we will see right after the premiere in Barcelona. He asks questions about what violence in art means in the contemporary world and why we like to watch it so much. Is it perceived differently today than at the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries?
During the 25th edition of the Festival, the world premiere of the latest performance by the Italian group ImPerfect Dancers will also take place, whose expressive, visually beautiful dance performances have been greatly appreciated by the Gdańsk audience during the last editions of the festival. After the previously realized performances: „Lady Macbeth” and „Hamlet”, the trilogy will be completed by the most famous love story in the world: „Romeo and Juliet”.