Aidan Wilson writes…

For this year’s London Festival and the Shakespeare Festival, the Globe Theatre is putting on 37 plays in 37 languages, an event they’re calling Globe to Globe. This sort of thing really makes a language nerd like myself wish I was in London. Instead, I have to make do perusing the festival’s website, but that’s not so bad; their website has loads of content and is fun to explore.

The Merchant of Venice will be shown in Hebrew, Taming of the Shrew in Urdu, All’s well that ends well in Gujarati. There’ll also be a production for the deaf community, with Love’s labour’s lost being shown in British Sign Language. In my opinion however, the pick of the bunch is going to be Othello as performed by the Q Brothers from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, in hip hop.

A fresh urban take on Shakespeare’s tragedy spun out, smashed up and lyrically rewritten over original beats. The Q Brothers are America’s leading re-interpreters of Shakespeare through hip hop. They return to London following their award-winning international tours of Bombitty of Errors and Funk It Up About Nothin’. The CST is dedicated to creating and producing classic productions that unlock Shakespeare’s work for audiences from all walks of life.

An example line from each play is given on the Globe Theatre’s website, along with the original from Shakespeare’s play. A line from the Q Brothers’ Othello for instance, translated from the original I re-tell thee again and again, I hate the Moor, is:

I hate the bastard, hate the Moor,
I hate his rhymes, I hate his whore.

Makes me think, could we Australianise any of Shakespeare’s plays?

Romeo, Romeo,
Where the bloody hell are you?

Update: Roger Miller points us to this West Australian article:

This year, for the first time, Shakespeare will be performed in an Aboriginal language as part of the Cultural Olympiad, an arts festival running in the lead-up to and during the London Olympics.

Perth-based Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company has been invited by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to translate several of the Bard’s sonnets into Noongar and perform them during the festival in London.

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