x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

A multilingual celebration of Shakespeare

Each of Shakespeare's plays is to be performed in a different language in London, to mark the 2012 Olympics.

Multilingual celebration of Shakespeare

Shakespeare may be the most English of playwrights but his works are loved in translation around the world, and in celebration of the 2012 Olympics, his 38 plays will be performed, each in a different language by a different theatre company. And the organisers have made sure to include as many people as possible, with a performance of Love's Labour's Lost to be shown in sign language, by the Deafinitely Theatre company.

The first show will take place on April 23, 2012 - Shakespeare's birthday - and will end six weeks later. All the plays will be shown at Shakespeare's Globe, the 1997 reconstruction of the bard's original outdoor theatre which burnt down in 1613. The news was accompanied by the Globe's announcement that it plans to raise £7 million (Dh4m) in funding to build a 320-seat indoor Jacobean theatre on the Bankside site, with construction due to begin next year.

As for the plays themselves, Italians can treat themselves to a performance of Julius Caesar, while Arabic speakers can take in The Tempest. Other plays are expected to include Troilus and Cressida in Maori, Henry VIII in Spanish, The Taming of the Shrew in Urdu, King Lear in the Aboriginal tongue and Titus Andronicus in Cantonese.

To go or not to go? Surely, there is no question.