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Festival reveals why Shakespeare is German

Queen Mary, University of London is collaborating with the Globe Theatre and the Goethe-Institut London on an autumn season of events celebrating Germany’s great love of Shakespeare, beginning on 7 October 2010.

7 September 2010


“It might surprise people to know that more Shakespeare plays are performed on German stages than in the Bard’s home of England. His work has been translated and popularised by many German literary giants of the past 400 years, from Goethe to Nietzsche,” explains Professor Rüdiger Görner, Head of the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film at Queen Mary. “Much German vocabulary comes from Shakespeare and he is so revered in Germany that he has been adopted by the German people as one of their own heroes in literature.”

The Shakespeare is German season starts on 7 October, with the launch of a book of new translations of Goethe’s essays on Shakespeare, by the poets David Constantine and Michael Hofmann, commissioned by Globe Education.

Professor Görner, also founding director of the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations at Queen Mary, who has written the afterword to the new edition, will contribute to this event, discussing aspects of Goethe’s fascination with Shakespeare.

The acclaimed German actor, Sebastian Koch will commemorate Shakespeare the German Writer on 14 October, with an evening of readings in English and German and extracts from German films of Shakespeare.

It was on that day in 1771 that Goethe, renowned German writer and polymath, championed Shakespeare in an impassioned speech in which he described his encounter with Shakespeare as his personal awakening in literature.

Staged readings, performed during the season, include a 1590s play set in Germany that influenced Shakespeare, and a 1630s English play about Wallenstein that inspired Schiller’s play about the German hero.

The wealth and breadth of German Shakespeare film adaptations, from silent to avant-garde, will also be featured in a series of screenings at the Goethe-Institut London. The British Film Institute Southbank is also staging be a gala presentation of the 1920 silent film of Hamlet starring silver screen goddess Asta Nielsen in the title role.

Leading German and Shakespeare scholars will contribute throughout the festival, offering their perspectives on German responses to Shakespeare. On 21 October, at Shakespeare’s Globe, Professor Görner’s public talk, under the title, “A Tale for All Seasons: The German Preoccupation with Shakespeare,” will open a whole series of lectures exploring this fascinating aspect of Anglo-German cultural exchange.

“Since the mid-18th century, Shakespeare represented in German culture an icon of poetic emancipation, an artistic idol but also an object of ideology,” explains Professor Görner. “Shakespeare was instrumental in the formation of Germany’s cultural identity and has remained a catalyst of unprecedented experiments on paper, stage and screen.”

Shakespeare is German – listings information

7 October to 18 November 2010

7pm, Thursday 7 October 2010 at Shakespeare’s Globe

Book launch:  “Goethe on Shakespeare”

A new book bringing together Goethe’s essays on Shakespeare in a single volume for the first time. The evening will include an introduction to the book and readings from the two translations by Globe actors.

Tickets: A limited number of free tickets available from: ed.events@shakespearesglobe.com

 

6.30pm, Thursday 14 October 2010 at Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare – a German Writer starring Sebastian Koch

A celebration of Shakespeare’s impact on German culture with readings, film extracts and an introduction from Martin Swales (Professor Emeritus, University College London). This event is organised in association with the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies. 

Tickets: £12 (£10 Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe, Concessions, Students). Available through the box office.

 

7pm, Thursday 21 October 2010 at Shakespeare’s Globe

Talk – A Tale for all Seasons: Reflections on the German Preoccupation with Shakespeare by Professor Rüdiger Görner (Queen Mary, University of London)

Professor Görner will assess some of the reasons for Germany’s pre-occupation with Shakespeare

Tickets: £5 (£3 Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe, Concessions, Students). Available through the box office.

 

7pm, Tuesday 26 October 2010 at Shakespeare’s Globe

Talk – Shakespeare and George’s Circle by Dr Ray Ockenden (Wadham College, Oxford)

This talk will explore why Shakespeare fascinated Gundolf, Stefan George and Germany

Tickets: £5 (£3 Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe, Concessions, Students). Available through the box office.

 

7pm, Thursday 28 October 2010

2010 Theo Crosby Fellowship Event: Much Better in German

Actor Norbert Kentrup in conversation with Patrick Spottiswoode, Director of Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe, discussing whether Shakespeare is Much Better in German.

Tickets: £12 (£10 Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe, Concessions, Students). Available through the box office.

 

7pm, Tuesday 2 November 2010 at Shakespeare’s Globe

Talk – Made in Germany: Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Professor Manfred Pfister (Freie Universität Berlin)

This talk will explore Germany’s fascination with the sonnets and various approaches to translation

Tickets: £5 (£3 Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe, Concessions, Students). Available through the box office.

 

7pm, Tuesday 9 November 2010 at Goethe-Institut London

Screening – Der Kaufmann von Venedig (The Jew of Mestri)

Silent film, written, directed and produced by Peter Paul Felner with live piano accompaniment by Stephen Horne. Includes a post-show discussion 

Tickets: £3 available via 020 7596 4000

 

7pm, Thursday 11 November 2010 at Goethe-Institut London

Screening – Der Rest ist Schweigen (The Rest is Silence)

Käutner transposes Hamlet to post-war West-Germany, critiquing the war profiteering of the German industry during World War II, the film makes many direct references to Shakespeare’s original. Includes a post-show discussion 

Tickets: £3 available via 020 7596 4000

 

7pm, Saturday 13 November 2010 at Goethe-Institut London

Platform discussion – Hamlet

Using excerpts from a recording of Schaubühne’s production, director Thomas Ostermeier discusses his radical approach to the play and the character of Hamlet with David Lan, Artistic Director of the Young Vic.

Tickets: £3 available via 020 7596 4000

 

Sunday 14 November 2010 at Shakespeare’s Globe Sackler Studios

12-2pm, seminar introduction to the following Read not Dead performance

3-6pm, staged reading – Alphonsus Emperor of Germany (published 1654) by George Chapman

The story of a ruthless emperor who never learned to share. Although not published until 1654, the play dates from the 1590s. Some scenes in Henry V suggest that Shakespeare knew this play.

Tickets: seminar £13 (£10 Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe, Concessions, Students); staged reading £8 (£5 Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe, Concessions, Students). Available through the box office.

 

7pm, Thursday 18 November 2010 at Goethe-Institut London

Platform discussion – hamlet_X

Herbert Fritsch, the author and director of hamlet_X, will present a selection of clips and talk about their sacrilegious approach to the material.

Tickets: £3 available via 020 7596 4000

 

Sunday 21 November 2010 at Shakespeare’s Globe Sackler Studios

12-2pm, seminar introduction to the following Read not Dead performance

3-6pm, staged reading – Albertus Wallenstein (published 1640) by Henry Glapthorne

Wallenstein had been assassinated only a few years before this play about him was staged. Schiller knew Glapthorne’s play when he embarked upon his more famous version a century and a half later.

Tickets: seminar £13 (£10 Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe, Concessions, Students); staged reading £8 (£5 Friends of Shakespeare’s Globe, Concessions, Students). Available through the box office.

 

16.45pm, Thursday 27 January 2011 at BFI Southbank

Screening – Sven Gade’s Hamlet (1920)

A world premiere of a new print with music composed by Claire van Kampen and played live by six musicians. Supported by The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and BFI

Tickets TBC

 

March 2011, Shakespeare’s Globe

Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank

Globe Education’s flagship project for London schools which was launched in 2007. Globe Education and Deutsche Bank provide workshops, on-online resources, teacher training and 18,000 free tickets to a Globe production for London students and families each March.

 

For more information please contact:

Francesca Maguire on 020 7902 1491 or Francesca.m@shakespearesglobe.com 

Jo Philpotts on 07775 895680 or jo.philpotts@gmail.com

or Dina Koschorreck on 02075964042 or dina.koschorreck@london.goethe.org

For media information, contact:

Paul Jordan
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: p.jordan@qmul.ac.uk
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