Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe
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A book about how Shakespeare became fascinated with the world, and how the world became fascinated with Shakespeare - the first book of its kind
There are 83 copies of the First Folio in a vault beneath Capitol Hill, the world's largest collection. Well over 150 Indian movies are based on Shakespeare's plays - more than in any other nation. If current trends continue, there will soon be more high-school students reading The Merchant of Venice in Mandarin Chinese than in early-modern English. Why did this happen - and how? Ranging ambitiously across four continents and 400 years, Worlds Elsewhere is an eye-opening account of how Shakespeare went global. Seizing inspiration from the playwright's own fascination with travel, foreignness and distant worlds, Dickson takes us on an extraordinary journey - from Hamlet performed by English actors tramping through Poland in the early 1600s to twenty-first-century Shanghai, where Shashibiya survived Mao's Cultural Revolution to become an honored Chinese author.
En route we visit Nazi Germany, where Shakespeare became an unlikely favorite, and delve into the history of Bollywood, where Shakespearian stories helped give birth to Indian cinema. In Johannesburg, we discover how Shakespeare was enlisted into the fight to end apartheid. In California, we encounter him as the most popular playwright of the American frontier.
Both a cultural history and a literary travelogue, the first of its kind, Worlds Elsewhere explores how Shakespeare became the world's writer, and how his works have changed beyond all recognition during the journey.
according to one report, ‘Shylock never appeared to greater advantage.’ Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Richard III were all acted in the closing years of the eighteenth century and into the early nineteenth. Such was the zeal for theatre in Kolkata that when the Calcutta theatre closed its doors in 1808, a new playhouse sprang up almost immediately afterwards: the Chowringhee, set up in a fashionable area of the city by a consortium of backers including the pioneering Shakespearian critic D. L.
the Polish king granted it independent jurisdiction. Lutherans had brought German translations of the scriptures to Gdańsk as early as the 1530s, and it became a hotbed of the new faith, home to one of the few sixteenth-century Protestant gymnasiums to be built on the Continent (not dissimilar from the grammar school attended by Shakespeare). In 1577, irked by its semi-detached Lutheran lodger, the Polish crown attempted to invade. Eventually the rival forces came to a compromise: fealty and
Green, John Greenblatt, Stephen Greene, Robert Greg, Walter Wilson Griffith, David Llewelyn Wark ‘D. W.’ Group Areas Acts (South Africa, 1965) Gründgens, Gustaf Guangzhou, Guangdong Guardian Gui zhao see Tales from Shakespeare (Lambs) Gujarat, India Gujarati Gulf War (1990–1991) Gulzar Gundolf, Friedrich Günther, Hans F. K. Gutenberg, Johann H Habima Hackett, James Henry Hahn, Matthew Haines, Richard Hallam, Lewis Hallam, Sarah Hallams’ London Company Halle, Edward
less popular in the Old West (difficult to stage The Tempest’s masque in a saloon in Rough and Ready, still less on the sawn-off trunk of a giant sequoia). But in most of Shakespeare’s plays, stage directions were famously minimal. It was a professional requirement to make it up as you went along. That must have appealed to many a barnstorming nineteenth-century ham. Thinking about the rambunctious audiences, the improvised venues and scenery, the bear-baiting and gambling, the fine costumes
performances and copy down what they heard and saw. Other companies hired claques to hiss their opponents. Audiences expected a great deal: one critic took a production of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves to task for having fewer than forty thieves on stage (though conceded that the company had imported a live tree from England). The latest theatrical technology offered spectators ever-more awe-inspiring effects: trapdoors, flying beds, dazzling lighting changes, real running water. For a flavour