Saturday, 15 November 2014

Global Shakespeare launched at the Barbican

globalshakespeareClick here to listen to a podcast with Professor David Schalkwyk on the Robben Island Shakespeare

Queen Mary University of London and University of Warwick last night (13 November) launched Global Shakespeare at a sold out event at the Barbican. The event included a reading of Matthew Hahn’s play, the Robben Island Bible, based on passages chosen from a copy of Shakespeare’s complete works by the prisoners on Robben Island, South Africa.

A research and teaching collaboration, Global Shakespeare aims to shape the future agenda in Shakespeare studies across criticism, performance, history, media and popular culture.

Global Shakespeare critically explores and celebrates how Shakespeare’s work is translated, adapted and performed in other cultures. Global Shakespeare Director, Professor David Schalkwyk says that the partnership is fundamentally about challenging the notion that “Shakespeare belongs to a single language, culture or people”.

“Whether London or Lahore, we aim to shine a light on the truly global nature of Shakespeare’s work. It is our belief that there is no pure or true way to interpret or perform Shakespeare’s text. The meaning and understanding of his work is culturally specific, and Global Shakespeare seeks to understand and celebrate that reality,” said Professor Schalkwyk.

Current Global Shakespeare initiatives include a collaboration with the People’s Palace Projectson Shakespeare in Brazil; a partnership with Dash Arts on a multi-lingual production of King Lear; a celebration in 2016 of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth; and the 500th anniversary of the Venetian Ghetto.

According to Jerry Brotton, QMUL Professor of English and Associate Director of Global Shakespeare, the project “will make it possible to see Shakespeare in his world and ours. Our research, teaching, and public engagement will help us understand the translation of Shakespeare’s work from the Globe to countries, cultures and communities all over the world. Our ambition is unique, as is our scale: no other project brings together such a diverse group of scholars and students working on the global and intercultural nature of Shakespeare.”

Upcoming international activities include a 2016 conference on Global Shakespeare with the University of Cape Town, a 2015 exhibition and series of performances in London of the British Black and Asian Shakespeare’s Multi-Cultural Shakespeare: 1930-2010, and a 2015 symposium on Shakespeare in China.

Future research projects include the use of Shakespeare to investigate the history of the emotions; an extensive “connected communities” project to explore Shakespeare, human rights and areas of conflict; and a series of performance-based workshops with translators to forge closer links between translators, actors and scholars.

Sources: www.folger.edu and www.qmul.ac.uk



http://globalsouthafricans.com/latest/397-global-shakespeare-launched-at-the-barbican.html



Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Casting Announcement - The Robben Island Bible at the Barbican

On 13 November, a short extract from The Robben Island Bible will be held at the Barbican Theatre in London as part of the opening of the Global Shakespeare Centre at Queen Mary's University, London.

I am pleased to announce that Maryam Hamdi will be joining the reading again after her performance in Glasgow as part of the opening of the Commonwealth Games in July.  Joining Maryam will be actors Richard Pebbles and  Waleed Akhtar.




Monday, 20 October 2014

Global Shakespeare will launch on 13th November

Queen Mary University of London and the University of Warwick will launch Global Shakespeare at The Barbican, London on Thursday 13th November at 6.00pm. This collaboration aims to transform the research agenda on Shakespeare for the 21st Century by exploring the writer’s extraordinary dissemination and appropriation in cultures and languages across the world, in text, performance, film and new media.
Opening addresses by Professor Jonathan Bate, Provost of Worcester College, University of Oxford and Professor David Schalkwyk, Academic Director for Global Shakespeare.


There will be a play reading from Matthew Hahn’s play, The Robben Island Bible, based on the copy of Shakespeare signed by apartheid prisoners on Robben Island (including Nelson Mandela), and featured in the British Library exhibition, “Shakespeare—Staging the World” in 2012.

Formal proceedings will be following by a drinks reception in the Conservatory Terrace. The event will conclude at 8.00pm.


If you are interested in attending please register your attendance using the following link: http://bit.ly/1pM2BXS

Monday, 22 September 2014

Video of reading at Michael Oak School, Cape Town presented by The Shakespeare Society of South Africa (Cape Town branch).





Here is the link to the reading performed on 22 August at Michael Oak School, Cape Town presented by The Shakespeare Society of South Africa (Cape Town branch).  Morris Podbrey produced and cast the play.  Actors were Vaneshran Arumugam, Andile Nebulane, Andrew Roux & Chi Mhende.  It was attended by students from Michael Oak School, Bergvliet High, Constantia Waldorf and Stellenbosch Waldorf Schools. 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The work continues in Johannesburg


I am so pleased to hear that the Southwest Gauteng College and their students have continued to work in the community centre for homeless young men in Johannesburg. 

I was so impressed with their work during the ‘Ethical Leadership’ workshop that they facilitated a drama workshop with me later in the week in Maboneng.

It is so important that this sort of work becomes sustainable and with the energy of these young students and the support of their college, it is my hope that these workshops can continue.

Below is a recent email from one of the SWGC students and below that from the gentleman who runs the homeless shelter:


Dear Matthew
 
Trust all is good that side and hope you are missing us this side. 
 
We had gone to see the boys on Friday the 12th. We spent half the day
with them and it was fun. The most fun part as we went with the group
that was in workshop(hope you still remember them all) we were about 9
in number and....as if that isn't good enough..the College borrowed us
their mini bus to use..(That was great!!!!)
 
Most of those faces we met with you have left. So Friday we
saw new faces and they had as much fun as we had with them. We had
activities lined up and played games and they were delighted.
 
Seems like the College is going to help out in this in terms of
assisting the boys in shaping their future. Mr Mojela is also
instrumental in guiding us as to how to get the school on board. This
seems like a wonderful journey that you have started for us.. We thank
u again and hope you will visit again soon.
  
Be well Matthew,we miss you and thank you for everything.
 
Kind,Warm Regards,
Xanadu
 

----
 

Mr Mojela,

We were greatly privileged by your visit to the centre. Your programme is valuable to our vision to give children a future. As I told you, we might not always have children who qualify, but we will always in touch for the few that we come across. It is unfortunate that I didn't manage to sit throughout your presentation on Friday. Please be encouraged to come back as soon as you students have something they can share with our boys.

Kind regards

Todd

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow - meeting another of those most gentle of men, Eddie Daniels

What an honour to have met another one of Sonny's 'Bible's signatories, Eddie 'Matthew' Daniels ['Matthew', he tells me, was his nom de guerre in the Liberation Movement].  In 2010, Masie & Tod Higgenson interviewed him whilst I was in Johannesburg working with actors at the Market Theatre Labortory.
Winson, from the Cape Town Shakespeare Soceity, and I picked him up from his home in Sommerset West.  As I entered into his sitting room, I noticed right away a photograph that had pride of place in this room was of him diving off of a ship into the Arctic Ocean.  This photograph was taken last month!  85 and still going strong.  An amazing person and a most gentle of souls.


Archive & Public Culture Research Initiative Paper delivered at the University of Cape Town, 21 August 2014

On the 21st of August, I was invited by the  Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town to present a paper on the research & development of the play, The Robben Island Bible, with a specific focus on archive & heritage through the voices of the men & women whom I interviewed for the play in 2008 & 2010.  Much of the presentation was clips from the original interviews and readings of the play.  I examined how archive and culture played [and continues to play] a major role in the development and presentation of the play, its research and the supporting workshops on 'Ethical Leadership.'

I was joined by Professor David Schalkwyk, Academic Director, Global Shakespeare, Queen Mary University of London and University of Warwick and former lecturer at the University of Cape Town.  I know David through his book, Hamlet's Dream;  I was also joined by  Sibongiseni Mkhize, the CEO of the Robben Island Museum for a Q & A that followed the presentation.

I was honoured to have in the audience Kwedie Mkalipi, a former political prisoner on Robben Island as well as a signatoree of Sonny's 'Bible'.  I had the honour of interviewing him in 2008.