It’s not been easy trying to get inside the mind of this most incredible genius of words, yet the journey we started over 15 years ago has been exhilarating, to say the least. Whilst there are many Theatre companies throughout the world regularly presenting Shakespeare’s plays in very different ways, the approach we have taken revolves around providing answers to this contention:
"Taking as a given truth Richard Eyre’s statement that Shakespeare gave us the DNA of our Theatre, how then can it best be passed down the line to firstly give new and sustainable life to his own work, and secondly to create new work that is inspired, influenced by, or flows out from the tradition Shakespeare worked in?"
The Globe today performs Shakespeare’s plays in a Theatre close to their original physical setting; for us it is about revitalising his works using a non-physical ‘creative space’ . There are many ways to achieve this, below are ways that we have been exploring:
learning and discovering what Shakespeare's legacy is all about
Please click here to go to the LivingShakespeare page
writing completely new works inspired directly or indirectly out of Shakespeare plays
Adapting his plays, finding new ways of interpreting them, putting them into new settings is not what this is all about! Instead we believe the real benefit of his legacy is for us to be as radical and original as Shakespeare himself; to write new challenging drama using the words, themes, and characters of his plays as the raw material, much in the same way as DNA works. In doing so we believe Shakespeare’s work can be kept fresh and relevant for audiences throughout the world, for all time.
This work is not, however, just about keeping the finished works of Shakespeare alive. Even more important than that is the need to keep the mental processes and outlook he started well and truly alive, for all time.
Please click here to go to the AfterShakespeare page
Shakespeare was a genius, fact; and as such people who love and admire his work generally show him an awful lot respect. Sometimes so much respect that they wrongly, in my opinion, believe it's sacrilege to 'mess' about with the plays.
Our viewpoint is rather different. Time, the great healer, is also the great destroyer; it gets to us all, including even Shakespeare. Our belief is that over the hundreds of years that have passed, and the many hundreds of years yet to happen, the works themselves are in danger of becoming fossilized. And that would be a dreadful tragedy in itself and would be doing his work, and the people throughout time, a great disservice.