Globe to Globe: All’s Well That Ends Well in Gujarati (India)

Like many others so far in Globe to Globe, the Gujarati company Arpana adapted Shakespeare’s play into its home culture, rather than straightforwardly performing it as a Western European-based story. I’ve enjoyed these kinds of productions better, with the exception of the histories (not because the histories are an untouchable work of genius – although they TOTALLY ARE – but because a sense of continuity is crucial for their stories).

All photos (c) Ellie Kurttz Read more...

Globe to Globe: Love’s Labours Lost in British Sign Language (UK)

When I heard Deafinitely would be doing Shakespeare’s most language-focused play, I was intrigued. Love’s Labours Lost has long been a favourite comedy of mine – Rosaline and Berowne are a dry run for Beatrice and Benedick who nonetheless are slightly more grown-up than the more famous pair, and there are more than enough classical allusions and Latin jokes to keep a smug 17-year-old enrolled at a liberal arts college happy, as I was when I first encountered the play. Parts of it are very boring, and a lot of it doesn’t make sense, but Berowne is probably my favourite speaker in all Shakespeare and the ending is brilliant.

Globe to Globe: Romeo and Juliet in Portuguese (Brazil)

Grupo Galpão’s production was Romeo and Juliet: The Comic Opera. The company did much more singing than speaking, and Juliet (Fernanda Vianna) was a ballerina while Romeo (Eduardo Moreira) teetered on stilts. When I walked in I was extremely pleased to see they were running it without an interval, which implied both a quick running time and a tight production.


Photo (c) Ellie Kurttz

Globe to Globe: King Lear in Belarusian (Belarus)

“That was certainly the shortest Lear I’ve ever seen,” I overheard a patron say as I left the theatre on Friday. It was, and it was brilliant. All Lears should clock in at 80min (1hr35min with interval).

Most of the cuts were around Lear, the Fool and Kent. The highlights were still there, but not the endless moaning on the heath. The storm scene was extremely effective: a blue tarp stretched on stage, held at the edges by the cast, who vigorously shook it to create a tempestous space for Lear to wander in; halfway through, someone dumped a bucket of water into it, which bounced off the tarp for the rest of the scene, splashing Lear again and again, genuinely disorienting him and soaking him through. The Fool played piano and wore very enviable yellow wellies.

King Lear in the storm, The Belarus Free Theatre Read more...

Globe to Globe: King John in Armenian (Armenia)

Coworker: So what are you seeing tonight?
Me: King John.
Coworker: I’m not familiar with that one, what’s it about?
Me: Well, King John is the one who, you know in the Robin Hood stories? He’s Prince John from those. Er, but that part’s not in the play.
Coworker 2: Oh, I know, he was the one with the Magna Carta.
Me: Yes! That’s the guy! …That’s also not in the play.
Coworker: So what’s it about?
Me: Um.

Photo (c) Simon Annand Read more...

Globe to Globe: Henry VI, Part Three in Macedonian (Macedonia)

I love the Henry VIs, but I didn’t really “get” Part Three until I saw it last weekend, when it blew my fucking socks off.

Photo (c) Marc Brenner