Chinese scholars lead global gathering on Shakespeare

Chinese academics will join over 800 Shakespeare scholars from more than 48 countries in Stratford Upon-Avon and London for the 10th World Shakespeare Congress, to explore and honour the Bard’s work some 400 years after his death.

Gu Zengkun and Tianhu Hao, from Beijing University, and Ivy Hao Liu from Tsinghua University are leading workshops and seminars at the global Congress.

This year’s event is co-hosted for the first time in two locations that were integral to both the personal and working life of William Shakespeare.

The Congress is co-hosted in Stratford by the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

King’s College, London 

In London, Shakespeare’s Globe and the London Shakespeare Centre, at King’s College London play host to the international delegation.

With an overarching theme of ‘Creating and Recreating Shakespeare’, the Congress will look at the continuing global relevance of Shakespeare’s work through a varied programme of lectures, seminars and workshops.

Shakespeareans from around the world, including the US, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brazil, UAE, Egypt, France, Australia, Japan, China, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, Mauritius, Portugal and India, will take part in seminars and panel discussions, exploring different aspects of the Bard’s work and the global cultural legacy he continues to have around the world.

Speakers at the 2016 World Shakespeare Congress include internationally renowned actor Adrian Lester. As the son of Jamaican immigrants to the UK, Lester will discuss his early exposure to Shakespeare and his recent performance as Othello at the National Theatre, as well as his ability to move between big-budget films and small scale live performances.

Booker Prize-winning novelist Howard Jacobson will be discussing his novelistic adaptation of The Merchant of Venice and the role Shakespeare played in the history and form of the novel.

While Gregory Doran, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, will be in session exploring the company’s artistic life and history.

Shakespeare’s Globe’s Founding Director of Theatre Music, Claire van Kampen will be joined on stage by Bill Barclay, Globe Director of Music and an ensemble of early music players.

Rounding off the series of lectures will be a plenary session chaired by the Globe’s Executive Producer Tom Bird, where a panel of international theatre directors will be taking up some of the ways in which Shakespeare’s plays have been re-imagined around the world.

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