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Shakespeare's Globe

Touring Hamlet Granted UNESCO Patronage

Shakespeare's Globe logoGlobe to Globe Hamlet, the ambitious two-year tour to every country in the world of the Shakespeare's Globe production, has been granted UNESCO patronage.

"Globe to Globe Hamlet was created with the aim of performing Hamlet to as many people as possible, in as diverse a range of places as possible," Dominic Dromgoole, artistic director of Shakespeare's Globe and director of Hamlet, said in a press release. "The central principle of the tour is that Shakespeare can entertain and speak to anyone, no matter where they are on earth; and that no country or people are not better off for the lively presence of Hamlet."

Since the tour began on April 23, 2014, Hamlet has played in 50 countries to 50,000 people across Europe, North and Central America, and the Caribbean. The tour's second leg saw performances in front of an international audience at the United Nations in New York; at the oldest theater in Central America, the majestic Teatro Nacional de El Salvador; outside on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Canada; at a beautiful marina in Antigua and Barbuda; on a mountainside in Guatemala; in St. Kitts and Nevis, where the Hamlet company became the first international theater group to perform on the island; and in Poland, where the company was invited to open the Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre. The tour's second leg culminated with a performance in Kazakhstan, amongst the futuristic architecture of Astana.

In the last few months of 2014 Hamlet has been traveling across South America, with a lone performance at the tour's final Caribbean island, Trinidad and Tobago, which will mark one quarter of the tour complete. In South America, the company will perform in beautiful old theaters in Panama, Ecuador, and Peru; at the Centro Cultural Chacao in Venezuela; in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in conjunction with the Gandarela Institute, the organization building a replica of Shakespeare's Globe in Minas Gerais; and in the culturally vibrant, eclectic cities of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Asuncion, Paraguay.

UNESCO patronage has been granted to Globe to Globe Hamlet in recognition of the tour's engagement with local communities and promotion of cultural education. In Belize, the company played to an audience of local children, and in Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to students from local schools. Proceeds from the evening performance in Belize were donated to the Lifeline Foundation, which delivers food, medicine, and other necessities to children in poverty. In Jamaica, all proceeds went to fund scholarships and grants for students of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. The company put on free performances in both the Dominican Republic and in Mexico, where Hamlet was staged in the shadow of Yucatán Cathedral, built the year before Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, to a crowd of more than 2,000 people.

At the 2014 UK Theatre Awards, Shakespeare's Globe was awarded The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre, for its touring program, including Globe to Globe Hamlet.

December 10, 2014

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