To celebrate the London 2012 Olympics, Shakespeare’s Globe will stage all of the playwright’s 38 plays, each in a different language and by a different international company.
Performances in Maori, Aboriginal languages and Cantonese will all be presented during the season and there will also be a production of Love’s Labour’s Lost in British Sign Language.
Over the course of six weeks, companies including the National Theatre of Greece, Rome’s Cometa Off Theatre and Oyun Atolyesi from Istanbul will play the Globe. The Globe itself will also stage one of the plays.
In an Urdu production, Pakistani TV star Nadia Jamil will star as Katherine in Taming of the Shrew and international directors Eimuntas Nekrosius and Tang Shu Wing will mount shows in Lithuanian and Cantonese respectively.
Shakespeare’s Globe artistic director Dominic Dromgoole said that the festival, which begins on Shakespeare’s birthday â€“ April 23, 2012 â€“ would celebrate the fact that the playwright had become “an international language”.
He added: “As Shakespeare’s theatrical London home, we want to celebrate this international affection by welcoming Shakespeare enthusiasts â€“ producers, performers and audiences â€“ to experience his work in their own languages and dialects within this iconic theatre.
“During the course of these six weeks, the Globe will create an international Shakespeare community in the heart of London, as a prelude to the internationalism which will fill the capital later in the year with the Olympics.”
The multilingual project is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and is being funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor.