It's all Greek to me.
The year 2012 was an incredibly busy one for the UK. London held the Olympics, Scotland announced their plans for a referendum on independence, and Queen Elizabeth celebrated her diamond jubilee. All of these events were, in some way, intrinsically British in nature.
But, in a small building on the bank of the Thames, was something quite different.
Many people recognise the Globe Theatre, with its thatched roof and distinctive white walls, as the home of Shakespeare, the home of the English drama. 2012 saw the Globe try something new-- a multi-lingual Shakespeare project. How many times has someone skimmed through a Shakespearean play and said, for lack of a better phrase, ‘it’s all Greek to me’? (Thanks for that one, Shakespeare.) Yet we all understand the story of the star-crossed lovers, or the tale of a usurped king.
The multi-ethnic London public seems to be the perfect landscape for international theatre, but does it even matter where the audience is from? Considering how well known Shakespearean plays are, we’ve reached the point where they transcend language. The tone of voice, the movement of the actors is enough for us to understand what is happening.
Right now, the Globe is holding ‘Globe to Globe’, with a troupe of its actors performing Hamlet in every country in the world on a staggering two-year tour. Have we reached the point where language is no longer a barrier?