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date: 23 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the impact of ‘global Shakespeare’ on performance traditions associated with mainstream Shakespeare on the English stage with particular focus on productions which put Shakespeare in conversation with non-English theatrical conventions in order to unsettle the distinction between ‘English Shakespeare’ and ‘Foreign Shakespeare’. The main focus of the chapter is the work of a London-based theatre company, ‘Two Gents Productions’, formed by a German-born director from South Africa and two Zimbabwean actors, and the evolution of their ‘township theatre’ approach to Shakespearea from their launch production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona south London (Ovalhouse) in 2008 to their contribution to the Globe to Globe Festival in 2012. The uniquely intercultural, playful quality of their Shakespearean productions shows that intercultural performance need not involve cultural looting or an unequal exchange between participating cultures. It justifies an optimistic outlook for intercultural performance in increasingly globalized theatrical (and Shakespearean) geographies.

Keywords: Key terms, intercultural performance, global Shakespeare, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Globe to Globe Festival, Ovalhouse, Two Gents Productions, township theatre, The Two Gentlemen of Verona

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