Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2014
An extraordinary number of people have asked me questions about the Globe to Globe Festival, from the moment in late 2010 that we announced the event would be going ahead. I was asked questions in scores of different languages and in the street, in theatres, on BBC Breakfast News, in bars and restaurants, wherever I went. A breathtaking wave of curiosity seems to have been generated by Dominic Dromgoole's idea of putting on all the Shakespeare plays in thirty-seven different languages. Some questions were easier to answer than others (‘Why have you offended the people of x by not including a company from x in the festival?’), but on the whole there emerged a series of queries that everyone seemed to want answered, and I have attempted to answer these questions below, by way of giving some background to the critical reactions that followed.
How did the Globe find these companies?
In the first instance, we talked and talked and talked. To theatre people, to academics, to journalists, to cultural attachés and ambassadors: who do you know who is doing Shakespeare in a way that might work for a festival like this? We wanted wonderful storytellers, of course – the best actors and directors and musicians we could find – but we also wanted companies that could play anywhere at a moment's notice, light-of-foot groups who would be able to make the Globe space their own without five days of technical rehearsal. After talking at home, we began to travel and talk more, and then to watch as much work as we possibly could in the ten or so months we had in order to programme the Festival.
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