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What Country, friends, is this?
Led by RSC Associate Director David Farr, one ensemble company of RSC actors performed The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night and The Tempest, three plays exploring love, loss and reunion.
The fourth part of the season, Pericles, was a collaboration between amateur theatre makers and the RSC's professional creative and production teams that saw a cast of amateur performers working with RSC directors, designers, stage managers and technicians.
Pictured are Stephen Hagan as Sebastian and Emily Taaffe as Viola in Twelfth Night.
Nations at War
This trilogy of plays featured Richard III, King John and A Soldier in Every Son – The Rise of the Aztecs, three plays which explored the struggle for absolute power and the right to lead a nation.
Pictured: Maria Aberg's King John.
Globe to Globe
Opening in April 2012, Globe to Globe was a six week event in which companies from across the world performed all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in 37 different languages.
As You Like It performed in Georgian by Marjanishvili.
Digital and film projects
These were a significant part of the festival. They included:
Photo: Kate Tempest performs her new poem 'My Shakespeare', explaining what Shakespeare means to her.
Some of the RSC Open Stages' most exciting amateur companies performed their own Shakespeare-themed productions in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Over 260 amateur companies signed up to produce RSC Open Stages productions, from Penzance to the Isle of Skye, with over 6400 people taking part. Some companies have been regularly performing Shakespeare since well before the establishment of the RSC and some tried it for the first time. Productions were performed everywhere from castles to village halls, beaches to ballrooms, supermarkets to forests.
Then in October the RSC Amateur Ensemble, a group of auditioned amateur actors performed Pericles, the final part of the 'What Country, Friends, Is This?' season at The Courtyard Theatre. Pictured is Sope Dirisu as Pericles.
Collaborations and international productions
The World Shakespeare Festival brought together theatre makers from across the globe. Pictured is A Midsummer Night's Dream (As You Like It), which was a Chekhov International Theatre Festival/Dmitry Krymov's Laboratory/School of Dramatic Art Theatre production, performed in Russian.
Other collaborations and international productions were:
Several World Shakespeare Festival productions took place in unusual spaces. The National Theatre Wales production of Coriolan/us (pictured) was performed in aircraft hangar 858 in the Vale of Glamorgan. Brazilian director Renato Rocha staged The Dark Side of Love, an exploration of Shakespeare's most painful and poignant moments, underground in the Dorfman Hub space beneath the Roundhouse. Dreamthinkspeak's The Rest is Silence was performed within a specially designed and multilayered structure, allowing the action to unfold on different levels and on all sides. Finally, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru staged Y Storm, a Welsh language version of The Tempest in a purpose built tent.
Pictured is The House of Fairytales, an an adventure trail and playful installation which took children on a journey through Shakespeare's imagination.
Elsewhere for the festival was Shakespeare: Staging the World, a British Museum exhibition in collaboration with the RSC, providing a unique insight into the emerging role of London as a world city, seen through the innovative perspective of Shakespeare's plays.
Music played an essential part in the World Shakespeare Festival, including the following five productions:
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