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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: December 2013

Shakespeare, Africa & the Globe Olympiad

  • Edited by Martin Banham, Emeritus Professor of Drama & Theatre Studies, University of Leeds, James Gibbs, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, University of the West of England, Femi Femi Osofisan, Professor at the University of Ibadan, Jane Plastow, Professor of African Theatre, University of Leeds, Yvette Hutchison, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre & Performance Studies, University of Warwick
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
  • pp 1-12


The May 2012 Globe to Globe festival was energetically promoted. The organisers put out an announcement in which they proclaimed:

…the wild journeys of [Shakespeare's] plays, first travelled in English, soon multiplied into many fresh journeys, in a whole host of different tongues. We are bringing together artists from all over the globe, to enjoy speaking these plays in their own language, in our Globe, within the architecture Shakespeare wrote for…

In excited tones, they continued:

Many of the world's greatest directors, over six hundred actors from all nations, and audiences from every corner of our polyglot community, will assemble to celebrate the stories, the characters and the relationships, which are etched into all of us. Shakespeare is the language which brings us together better than any other, and which reminds of our almost infinite difference, and of our strange and humbling commonality.

You could not but be infected by this enthusiasm as they concluded:

A Globe beside the Thames is where many of these plays began their extraordinary journey. Another Globe beside the Thames is delighted to be bringing these plays, dressed in the clothes of many peoples, back home. Please come and join us!