Shakespeare Lives is an unprecedented programme of events and activities running throughout 2016 to celebrate the works of William Shakespeare. This year has been chosen because it marks the 400th anniversary of his death.
As part of this Shakespeare Lives initiative, we are working with the British Council China to run 'Play your Shakespeare'. This is a digital mass participation project which aims to encourage people to watch, create and share content on major Chinese social media channels. 36 accredited English languages centres are involved and each one of these will be filmed reading a piece of Shakespeare's work. They can choose their own favourite play and then perform their reading in any way they'd like to - perhaps by starring teachers or students, using props and/or wearing costumes! Some of these readings are being filmed at a professional recording studio in London, other members will film their own.
Students and staff have chosen a wide range of Shakespeare's plays. The readings include excerpts from: A Midsummer Night's Dream; Romeo and Juliet; Macbeth; King Lear; Richard III and Antony and Cleopatra. The finished recording will be shared on major Chinese social media channels in April. Which language centre do you think will give the most memorable performance?
The world is invited to join in the festivities by experiencing the work of Shakespeare on stage, through film, exhibitions, in schools or through online collaborations. Dedicated art shows, literary festivals, concerts, and even a Shakespeare marathon are all part of this Shakespeare Lives programme which aims to reach over half a billion people around the world. You can celebrate Shakespeare's anniversary by tweeting using #ShakespeareLives; or find out more about the various global events and activities on the dedicated Shakespeare Lives website.
'Play your Shakespeare' is just one of eight projects we are delivering with the British Council China this year, building on the momentum generated through last year's 'GREAT' campaign. In addition to our annual agent inward mission, China Roadshow and UK Sumer School directory booklet, this year's initiatives include a new series of GREAT videos promoting summer programmes, safeguarding training for group leaders/agents, a virtual exhibition and an agent survey.