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World Shakespeare Festival 'an unprecedented gathering'

6th September 2011

Next year's World Shakespeare Festival will be an unprecedented global gathering promoting literature on a massive scale, it has been claimed.

The event has been organised by the Royal Shakespeare Society (RSC) as part of the Cultural Olympiad leading up to the London 2012 Games, with performers and artists from across the globe descending on the UK to celebrate the Bard's work.

It will run from April 23rd to September 9th and will be the biggest event of its kind, said festival director Deborah Shaw, associate director of the RSC.

She told the BBC how choosing artists form different countries to come and perform at the festival unearthed varying tastes as far as Shakespeare's works are concerned.

Those from the Middle East and north Africa largely chose to perform plays about 'the downfall of despots and the rise of new ideas', while artists based in central and South America preferred historical plays that explored 'political legitimacy and corruption'.

Venues across the capital will host performances as part for the festival, including the Barbican, British Museum and National Theatre.

Meanwhile, London's Globe Theatre will present all 38 of Shakespeare's recognised plays throughout the festival, staging one production itself, with the remaining works each performed by a different company from around the world in a different language.

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