Globe to Globe festival attracts 80% new audiencesDate: 7 June 2012Shakespeare’s Globe has hailed its six-week international theatrical marathon Globe to Globe a resounding success.
The season, which officially ends on Saturday (with the English-language Henry V) has seen 37 international theatre companies perform all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages, selling over 85,000 tickets across all of its performances. According to the venue, 80% of these bookings "comprised new audiences coming to the Globe for the very first time".
In addition, over 4,000 bookings were made to multiple shows, with 117 people running a 'Shakespearean marathon' by seeing every production for £100 with the Matinee Yard Olympian.
Globe to Globe comprises part of the London 2012 Festival, the cultural celebrations for the Olympic and Paralympic games. Ruth Mackenzie, director of the London 2012 Festival, said: “The ambition of the London 2012 Festival is to show new audiences world class art. The Globe has exceeded expectations by gaining 80% of bookings through new audiences, many of whom were from the communities represented on stage.”
“The languages used to bring the Bard’s canon to life included Bangla, Polish, Spanish, Hindi, Japanese, Urdu, Turkish, Mandarin, and Arabic, to name a few. And the prospect of seeing a play in a foreign language did not put off British audiences, who turned up to discover different cultural takes on familiar Shakespearean plays.
Speaking after the opening performance of Troilus and Cressida, Rawiri Paratene of Ngākau Toa from New Zealand said: “Our company did the Maori Troilus and Cressida and we did it in a language to an audience that had mostly no knowledge of our language - some scene by scene sub-titles to help them along with the story. And they laughed at us, they cried with us, they sat through it and at the end they stood up and yelled and cheered and that was a blast to do that.”
One of the shows was a production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, performed entirely in British Sign-Language – a first for any Shakespeare play. Another first for Globe to Globe was the performance of 14 world premieres, in addition to the many productions created especially for the festival.
Festival director Tom Bird and his team had the gargantuan task of bringing together 37 visiting companies, internationally acclaimed directors and over 600 actors from across the world.
Dominic Dromgoole, artistic director of the Globe, concluded: “Globe to Globe has proved the most extraordinary pulling together of high art, compelling story-telling, and powerful acts of community. It has wildly exceeded our expectations, and proved an unforgettable experience for visiting artists and new audiences.”
- by Stephanie Soh