Shakespeare's Globe will host a free open day and sonnet reading on Sunday, April 22, to launch its ambitious Globe to Globe Festival, during which all 37 Shakespeare plays will be performed in 37 different languages over six weeks.
In a further celebration of language, Sonnet Sunday will offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets performed in more than 25 different languages.
Highlights include the Aboriginal theater company Yirra Yaakin, whose members will fly in from Western Australia especially for the event. They will perform a selection of sonnets in Noongar, one of the indigenous languages of Australia. Owain Arthur, currently starring in One Man, Two Guvnors on the West End, will recite in Welsh. Czech actors will perform their sonnets using puppetry in the Czech tradition, and for the first time ever sonnets will be heard in Somali and Cree. Other languages represented include Romanian, Swedish, Flemish, Hungarian, Gaelic, Farsi, Icelandic, Bulgarian, Arabic, and Latvian.
Alongside the sonnet marathon, the Globe will host an international food market in the Underglobe, below the theatre; the violin and accordion duo, Bow and Bellows; Bharatanatyam dancers from Northern India; and the a'cappella world choir the Wing-It Singers performing an eclectic mix of songs, many from Eastern Europe and Georgia. Visitors will also be able to explore the permanent Globe Exhibition, experiencing the London that Shakespeare would have lived in.
All activities and entry are free. Doors will open at 10 a.m., last admittance will be at 4:30 p.m. The final performance of Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare's dramatic poem performed by the Isango Ensemble from Cape Town will take place at 6:30 p.m. that evening. Tickets for that show are just £5.
April 2, 2012