During 2016 we're marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare with a global celebration of his work.

Visit the British Council's Shakespeare Lives website to find out what's happening around the world and how you can join in.

Shakespeare Lives Education Resource

The Shakespeare Lives education resource is available in English and Welsh and is free to download. It is suitable for school pupils aged 7 - 14 years and links to curriculums for Art, PHSE/Citizenship, Design and Technology, English, History, Drama.

Shakespeare Lives on the BBC

British Council and the BBC have been working together to bring Shakespeare Lives to as wide an audience as possible. The Shakespeare Lives 2016 website is a treasure trove of all things Shakespeare, including a major feature on Welsh production company Omidaze's all women production of Henry VI. 

Shakespeare Lives Film Season at Chapter Arts Centre, April 2016

During April we looked at Shakespeare's legacy in film and the relevance of his stories in Wales and beyond with screenings, discussions, workshops and specially commissioned programme notes. The events were co–ordinated by the British Council and Chapter Arts Centre. 

Lecturer David Cottis discusses the topics raised at three of the discussions in this Shakespeare Lives! article for Wales Arts Review.

Henry V directed by Kenneth Branagh

Sunday 3 April, 5pm

Having defeated the Welsh King Owain Glyndwr, King Hal must leave his rebellious youth behind, and strive to gain the respect of his nobility and people. Laying claim to parts of France, Henry gathers his troops and prepares for a war that he hopes will unite his country.

Panel: ‘Shakespeare and Wales’

Join us for a panel discussion curated by Siobhan Brennan on Shakespeare’s exploration of national identity and how this is relevant to Wales today.

Panellists include Gwyneth Lewis, the inaugural National Poet of Wales; poet, editor and literary critic Grahame Davies; Rakie Ayola a Cardiff-based Shakespearian actress and Siobhan Brennan a postgraduate student specialising in Shakespeare and Wales.

Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender

Sunday 10 April, 5pm

Macbeth, a duke of Scotland and fearless warrior, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become king. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself, but he cannot escape his fate. A thrilling and visceral retelling of one of literature’s most compelling characters at a crucial time in British history.

Panel: ‘Shakespeare & the Union’

Join us for a panel discussion curated by Siobhan Brennan on a discussion of how Shakespeare’s Scottish play helps us to explore ideas of national identity in post–devolutionary Britain.

Panellists include Phil George, producer of ‘Shakespeare: the King's Playwright' and Professor Andrew Murphy of St Andrews University, editor of ‘Shakespeare and Scotland’. 

West Side Story

Sunday 17 April, 5pm

A neighbourhood in Manhattan, New York, provides the setting for a love affair between Tony and Maria, caught on opposite sides of a gang war in this energetic re–telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Maria is the sister of Bernardo, leader of the Sharks, and Tony is the best friend of Riff, leader of the Jets. The two gangs are sworn enemies, and nothing Maria or Tony can say will dissuade them from the violence which leads to the film’s heart–breaking finale. An incredible score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, with intense choreography from Jerome Robbins, won the film ten Oscars including Best Picture.

Panel: ‘Shakespeare and the Musical’

Join us for a panel discussion chaired by Rebecca Gould on our enduring fascination with Shakespeare and his influence on musicals on stage and film.

Ran, adaptation of King Lear directed by Akira Kurosawa

Sunday 24 April, 5pm

Legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s final epic ‘Ran’ is a brilliantly conceived re-telling of Shakespeare’s ‘King Lear’. Featuring breathtaking battle scenes and unforgettable performances, this film follows the story of the aging warlord Hidetora who, in an attempt to restore peace, divides his kingdom between his three sons.

Panel: ‘Shakespeare in Translation’

How does the translation and adaptation of Shakespeare’s works keep him alive for us today? Join us for a panel discussion and Q&A session with prominent academics and commentators on the topic of ‘Shakespeare in Translation’. 

Panellists include Dr Paul Prescott, convenor of the ‘Global Shakespeare’ degree at the University of Warwick, and Gwyneth Lewis Inaugural National Poet of Wales who has translated ‘The Tempest’ into Welsh.

Hamlet starring Maxine Peake

Sunday 1 May, 3.30pm

Hamlet’s father is dead and Denmark has crowned a new king. Consumed by grief Hamlet struggles to exact revenge with devastating consequences. The ultimate play about loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness.

Every Hamlet is defined by the actor. In this stripped back, fresh and fast-paced version, issues of gender in the play are highlighted by Maxine Peake's compelling performance as the young prince. 

Panel discussion: ‘Women and Cross-Casting in Shakespeare’

Featuring Yvonne Murphy, Creative Director of the all-female Shakespearian troupe Omidaze Productions, renowned Shakespeare academic Professor Carol Rutter, and Shakespearian actress Lisa Zahra.

External links