The 11th edition of the International Shakespeare Festival will take place from April 23 to May 6, 2018, in Craiova. This year’s edition, the 11th one, held under the title “The Shakespeare Planet”, will open on April 23, William Shakespeare’s birthday and the day of his death, with the performance “The African Tales of Shakespeare”, presented by The New Theater of Warsaw (Poland), directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski.
“The African Tales of Shakespeare” is one of the most important spectacles directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, a theater director appreciated worldwide. Warlikowski, who directed several Shakespeare plays, is known for the modern interpretation of the traditional texts. In “The African Tales of Shakespeare”, he used his special adaptation technique – by juxtaposing and combining fragments of different plays, a single screenplay results. “King Lear”, “The Merchant of Venice” and “Othello” present three Shakespearean heroes representing at the same time the figures of today’s exclusion, being the victims of the age, anti-Semitism and racism. Warlikowski allows the characters that are usually silent to speak, making them having monologues especially written for the play by the Lebanese poet Wajdi Mouawad.
The spectacle, deemed an heroic journey into metaphysics, lasts 310 minutes, with two breaks: the first part: 1 hour and 20 minutes, with a 20-minute break; the second part: 1 hour and 40 minutes, with a 20-minute break; the third part: 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The New Theater was founded in Warsaw in 2008 under the artistic management of Krzysztof Warlikowski, who relied on an old group of collaborators. In the first five years, the theater didn’t have a permanent headquarter, functioning as an interdisciplinary cultural center. The spring of 2016 marked the reopening of the New Theater in a renovated postindustrial hall, in the heart of Warsaw. Until today, it produced five interpretations by Krzysztof Warlikowski ((A)pollonia, The End, The African Tales of Shakespeare, Warsaw Cabaret, The French), and co-produced Warlikowski’s Streetcar (with Isabelle Huppert) together with the Odeon Theater of Paris. Since the beginning, the New Theater has promoted young artists, providing them with the necessary space to accomplish their artistic vision. The list of collaborators includes: Michał Borczuch, Krzysztof Garbaczewski, Anna Smolar. After the reopening, the New Theater has become the standing residence for the new generation of Polish choreographers, actively supporting the development of the Polish dance stage.
The International Shakespeare Festival brings over 25 spectacles from 13 countries to Craiova
With a well-deserved national and international notoriety, deemed one of the most important European thematic festivals and one of the most important Shakespeare festivals in the world, the 2018 edition of the International Shakespeare Festival takes place under the title “The Shakespeare Planet”.
Being organized by the “Marin Sorescu” National Theater and the Shakespeare Foundation, with the support of the Craiova Municipality and of the Local Municipal Council, the International Shakespeare Festival brings to Craiova more than 25 spectacles from 13 countries, such as Poland, UK, South Korea, South Africa, Romania, Belgium, France, Japan, Australia, Canada and USA.
The festival’s program includes spectacles from all over the world, such as: “Measure for Measure”, a Pushkin Theater of Moscow (Russia) and Cheek by Jowl of London (UK) co-production, “The Tempest”, performed by the National Theater of Nice (France), directed by Irina Brook, the spectacle “Romeo and Juliet” directed by Oh Tae Suk, a Mokwha Repertory Company of Seoul (South Korea) production. From Japan, the Jijosha Yamanote Company of Tokyo will present “The Tempest”, directed by Masahiro Yasuda; from Brazil, the Shakespeare’s Clowns Theater from Natal Rio Grande do Norte will present “His Excellency Richard III” directed by Gabriel Villela; from USA, Q Brothers and the Shakespeare Theater of Chicago will present the spectacle “Othello Remix”. The International Shakespeare Festival will end on May 6 with the spectacle “Needles and Opium” directed by the famous director Robert Lepage, about which the legendary Peter Brook said that he is “the genius of the contemporary world direction”. The spectacle is presented outside the Shakespearean program by the famous Canadian company Ex Machina from Quebec.
The International Shakespeare Festival debuted in Craiova in 1994 and was initiated by the Shakespeare Foundation, whose Director is Emil Boroghina, following the model of the great international festivals, such as the ones from Edinburgh, Tokyo, Jerusalem and Montreal. The Shakespeare Festival has gradually expanded in time and space, being designed for larger and larger categories of audience, covering more and more areas where the invited spectacles are presented and reflecting the work of the great Bard into eternity. Thus, the title of this edition, “The Shakespeare Planet”, fits to a natural order, since the spectacles brought to the 2018 edition represent all the continents of the earth.