The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1053 Friday, 24 November 2006
From: Terence Hawkes <
Date: Thursday, 23 Nov 2006 15:15:14 -0000
Subject: Russian 'Twelfth Night'
Yes, the BBC spoke of a performance in Kabul in 2005. A production of
'Love's Labour's Lost', set in Afghanistan and translated into the Dari
language, played to packed audiences there. The plot was recast to
feature Afghan characters and locations. The feminine actors didn't use
veils or the burqua, and were able to flirt roundly with their colleagues.
This of course would not usually be allowed beyond the playhouse.
Co-adaptor Steven Landrigan seemed undismayed. "Shakespeare is so
adaptable because he writes universal truths of human experience," he
As for politics, let's not be too crude. The performance, lasting five
nights, was sponsored by the British Council. For the Americans, the BBC
reports, the US Agency for International Development has already started
to use troupes of actors in rural areas. It aims to stage plays to educate
people on forthcoming elections. Who says Shakespeare doesn't support
democracy? You can bet your life that 'Theater' does. To the last hurrah.
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