Tom Bird, Executive Producer at Shakespeare’s Globe, spoke to over 500 students passionate about Shakespeare in Xi’an, Chengdu and Wuhan.
Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, Tom’s Smart Talk celebrated Shakespeare's extraordinary international reach in the 21st century by outlining the Globe's large-scale international projects between 2012 and 2016; with a practical focus on what it means to work with Shakespeare today, and on a scale that bring artists and audiences of different nations together. This included his experience as Director of a festival which saw 37 international companies, including the National Theatre of China, invited to the Globe to perform a Shakespeare play in their own language as well as a recent two-year tour of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' to every country in the world between 2014 and 2016, one of the most ambitious theatre projects in history.
The talk, which is part of the British Council’s global campaign, Shakespeare Lives, celebrated the miracle of Shakespeare - that one playwright's 400-year-old artistic work can still inspire today. And most importantly, it emphasised that Shakespeare must no longer be thought of as a British writer, but rather as a storyteller that has influenced and inspired people in an incredibly diverse variety of styles, across a phenomenal geographical reach.