WSF Creative Dialogues

30 April 2012

We need to talk about William: Examining Shakespeare's relevance today
World Shakespeare Festival Creative Dialogues
The World Playwright – For Our Time?
Swan Room
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
10 – 12 May 2012
Box Office 0844 800 1110

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is inviting members of the public to join BBC News Correspondent Razia Iqbal and a panel of playwrights, performers and artists to discuss and debate the influence and legacy of Shakespeare.

Razia is hosting a special series of Creative Dialogues at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 10 to 12 May as part of the World Shakespeare Festival (WSF), the biggest ever celebration of Shakespeare, produced by the RSC for the London 2012 Festival.

Using the productions, exhibitions and events taking place during the World Shakespeare Festival as a starting point, the Creative Dialogues are intended to provoke an enlightening and energetic exploration of Shakespeare's relevance today.

There are three discussions taking place, each exploring a particular theme or idea around Shakespeare's work: how his writings have been presented in different languages and their impact on world audiences; how his work has been reinterpreted through the years; and how his creative spirit still looms large over contemporary artists producing new work today.

Contributors will come from different artistic disciplines, some of whom have their work featuring during the Festival and others bringing their specialist knowledge of Shakespeare and the arts to the table.

Geraldine Collinge, Director of Events and Exhibitions at the RSC said:

'The RSC is of course passionate about the works of Shakespeare and the World Shakespeare Festival is a celebration of his cultural impact across the globe but we're keen to explore what this really means for artists and audiences alike.

'We're hoping that our Creative Dialogues will provoke a lively debate about Shakespeare's continuing relevance. We're delighted that Razia Iqbal is chairing these discussions and we've got a great panel of theatre makers and artists taking part.

'Our Creative Dialogues promise a fascinating insight into Shakespeare's enormous impact on the art of storytelling.'

The Creative Dialogues take place from Thursday 10 May to Saturday 12 May at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Full details of times and venues below. Tickets cost £8. To book tickets contact the Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or book online.

Translating and Transposing Shakespeare
Swan Room
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Thursday 10 May at 5.30pm

With over 50% of the world's children learning Shakespeare, the act of translating Shakespeare's words is fundamental to how his work is experienced by a world audience. What are the creative challenges and freedoms in exploring and transposing the work through the medium of contemporary languages and what can an international eye bring to Britain's best know playwright?

Contributors: Playwright Ben Power, who has written A Tender Thing, National Programme Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, Daniel Hahn and Artistic Director of Baghdad Iraqi Theatre Monadhil Daood, who is directing Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad as part of the World Shakespeare Festival.

Reinterpreting and Reimagining Shakespeare
Swan Room
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Friday 11 May at 5.30pm

How do we offer new meaning to work written four hundred years ago? How can reinterpretation make the plays more relevant for today's audiences or offer a fresh perspective? How far can we go about redressing the cultural challenges presented by some of Shakespeare's portrayals, whilst preserving the integrity of the plays and is it an artist's responsibility to explore this tension?

Contributors include: Artistic Director of dreamthinkspeak, Tristan Sharps, who is directing The Rest is Silence and Luke Kernaghan, who is Assistant Director to Roxana Silbert on Richard III and A Soldier in Every Son – An Aztec Trilogy which are all playing as part of the World Shakespeare Festival.

Shakespeare and the Contemporary Artist
Swan Room
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Saturday 12 May at 5.30pm

How does Shakespeare's work impact on artists creating new work today? How does the legacy of his words, stories, characters and ideas impact on the wider contemporary cultural landscape and resonate into our everyday lives? Three contemporary artists explore how Shakespeare's language, themes, characters and stories have offered starting points for new creative ideas.

Contributors: Playwright, performer and director Tim Crouch, who is directing I Cinna (The Poet) as part of the World Shakespeare Festival, James Yarker, Artistic Director of Stan's Cafe whose Of All the People in All the World art installation is currently exhibiting at the RSC, and Oily Cart's creative team, Tim Webb and Claire de Loon, who are creating In a Pickle, a new show for 2 - 4 year olds inspired by The Winter's Tale and co-produced with the RSC.


For further media information please contact Mark Farnan on 01789 272438 or

Further information on the World Shakespeare Festival Creative Dialogues is available on the WSF website.


About London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad
The World Shakespeare Festival is part of the London 2012 Festival, which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in this UK-wide festival – a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation.


Tim Crouch
Tim was an actor for many years before starting to write – and still performs in much of his work. His plays include My Arm, ENGLAND (a play for galleries), the OBIE winning An Oak Tree and The Author, joint winner of the 2010 John Whiting Award. Tim tours his work nationally and internationally. He has also written for younger audiences, including a series of five plays inspired by Shakespeare's lesser characters. For the RSC Tim has directed The Taming of the Shrew and this year will direct King Lear and I, Cinna (The Poet) – for young audiences. Tim Crouch: Plays One is published by Oberon Books. Tim is a Visiting Fellow at Newcastle University.

Monadhil Daood
Monadhil Daood is a Director of the Iraq Culture Ministry's Al Kawmi Theatre in Baghdad and one of Iraq's best known theatre, film and TV actors. He trained at the Baghdad Academy of Fine Arts and the Theatre Academy, St Petersburg, from where he holds a PhD, on the subject of Iraq's ancient Ta'ziyeh performance tradition. His work as a stage actor has taken him all over the world, performing at the Tokyo, Washington 'Arabesque', Athens and Royal Shakespeare Company Complete Works festivals and at theatres in France (Bouffe du Nord), Italy, UK, USA (New York's BAM) and Scandinavia.

Daniel Hahn
Daniel is a literary translator from Portuguese, Spanish and French. He has translated fiction from Europe, Africa and the Americas, and non-fiction by writers ranging from Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago to Brazilian footballer Pelé. His translation of José Eduardo Agualusa's The Book of Chameleons won him the 2007 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. A former chair of the Translators Association, he is currently national programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation.

Razia Iqbal
Razia Iqbal is a Special Correspondent for BBC News, reporting on a variety of foreign and domestic stories for the 6 and 10 o'clock news. She currently presents BBC World Service Radio's flagship international currents affairs programme, Newshour, three times per week and also presents her own books programme on the News Channel, called Talking Books. From 2003 to 2009, she was the BBC's Television Arts correspondent. She has presented on the BBC News Channel, on Radio 4, including the PM programme, Woman's Hour and Front Row, as well as on the World Service and 5LIVE. She has also been a foreign reporter for the BBC in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Luke Kernaghan
Luke trained at École Jacques Lecoq, Central School of Speech and Drama, the National Theatre Studio and was the inaugural Resident Assistant Director at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth and Drum. He has worked as a regional director for the 2011 National Theatre Connections. He is also a movement director and the co-translator of several theatre books, including Lecoq's Theatre of Movement and Gesture and David Bradby's History of French Theatre. Luke was a finalist for the JMK Young Director's Award, and has also taught theatre and movement at Central School of Speech and Drama. For the World Shakespeare Festival Luke is currently assistant director for the RSC on Richard III and A Soldier in Every Son – The Rise of the Aztecs.

Claire De Loon
Claire is a founder member and resident designer for Oily Cart. She spent the first seven years of her working life as a freelance theatre designer, working mainly in rep, at the Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow, Cheltenham, Chester, Crewe and the London Bubble. Her work for young people includes productions for the Unicorn Theatre, Greenwich Young People's Theatre and Glasgow Citizen's TIE.

Claire has combined her design work with a career spanning thirteen years in arts education. She was Kids Klub Ko-ordinator at Battersea Arts Centre, director of the Tower Hamlets Youth Arts Project, ILEA Advisory Lecturer in Fashion & Design and Art & Design Team Leader for Hammersmith & Fulham Community Education.

Ben Power
Ben Power is an Associate Director of the National Theatre. Work for the NT includes his adaptation of Ibsen's Emperor & Galilean and dramaturgy on many other productions. Previously, he was the Associate Director of Headlong Theatre. Other work includes A Tender Thing for the RSC and dramaturgy on Complicite's A Disappearing Number, which won the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards for Best Play. Work for film includes the forthcoming adaptations of Richard II and Henry V for the BBC/NBC Shakespeare Season.

Tristan Sharps
Tristan Sharps is Artistic Director of dreamthinkspeak, a Company which he created in 1999. The Company makes site-responsive works that interweave live performance with film and installations to create extraordinary journeys that are artistically ambitious and visually complex. Over the years, the company has developed an ensemble approach to theatre making and in 2010 was recognised by the Peter Brook/Empty Space/Equity Ensemble Award for its innovative way of working. The company's production Don't Look Back has been listed by Lyn Gardner of The Guardian as being in the top 10 most 'influential visual theatre pieces from the past decade'.

Tim Webb
Tim is a co-founder of Oily Cart. He has written and directed over seventy shows, creating work for very young children and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Tim has worked as actor, writer and director at theatres throughout the UK, directing productions for, amongst others, the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, the London Bubble, Glasgow's Giant Productions, Canada's Carousel Players and the Chicago Children's Theatre.

Tim received an MBE in 2011 for services to drama for children with special needs.

James Yarker
James co-founded Stan's Cafe in 1990 and has directed all their major productions. The company has a global reputation for devising original theatre which stretches the form out of shape. James has been invited to lead extended workshops for theatre makers in both Canada and Japan.

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