World Shakespeare Festival 2012 brings the world to a stage

Posted: 19th October 2011

Celebrating William Shakespeare's contribution to the worlds of theatre and literature is a little like going out of your way to draw attention to the fact that The Beatles were 'quite influential'.

Nonetheless, nearly four centuries after his death, 'doing Shakespeare' remains the zenith of a serious thespian's achievements. Doing so in Stratford-upon-Avon with the Royal Shakespeare Company is the equivalent of being a 'made' guy in the Mafia.

Despite the obvious high regard in which the Bard is rightly already held, the World Shakespeare Festival 2012 is set to be a spectacular celebration of his work and an affirmation of his continuing influence. The festival, produced by the RSC, forms part of the London 2012 Festival, itself the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad centred on the games taking place in the other Stratford.

The 'WSF' begins in March 2012, running throughout the summer with events and exhibitions across the UK, including London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Newcastle/Gateshead, Birmingham, Brighton, Wales and Scotland, as well as online.

The first events for which we have tickets include Shakespeare classics and modern productions inspired by his works. Tickets for all the following are available now:

Richard III

Power-hungry Richard, Duke of Gloucester, plots, manipulates and murders his way to the throne in Shakespeare's brilliant expose of this infamous monarch. At the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from 26th March to 15th September 2012. Tickets £16 to £34.

King John

John's claim to the throne is challenged by France, which threatens war unless he steps aside in favour of his nephew, Arthur. Directed by Maria Aberg, King John is at the Swan Theatre from 6th April to 15th September 2012. Tickets £16 to £34.

Two Roses for Richard III

A 'grand spectacle of circus and theatre' from Brazil's Companhia BufoMecanica, inspired by Shakespeare's historical works. The production, which is in Portuguese with English subtitles, runs at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from 7th to 12th May 2012. Tickets £5 to £25.

A Soldier in Every Son - An Aztec Trilogy

Spanning a century and based on true events chronicled in the Aztec codices, A Soldier In Every Son unfolds in three parts. Commissioned for the festival and closely inspired by Shakespeare's history plays. At the Swan Theatre from 29th June to 28th July 2012, tickets £16 to £34.

Much Ado About Nothing

Starring Meera Syal as the reluctant lover Beatrice in a production directed by Iqbal Khan and set in India, Much Ado About Nothing runs at The Courtyard from 26th July until 15th September. Tickets £16 to £38.

Troilus and Cressida

Elizabeth LeCompte and Rupert Goold collaborate on a multimedia production of Shakespeare's epic Trojan play at the Swan Theatre from 3rd to 18th August 2012. Tickets £16 to £34.

A Tender Thing

Ben Power weaves the words of Romeo and Juliet into a touching story about lovers in old age. Kathryn Hunter revisits the role she played in 2009. At the Swan Theatre from 27th September to 20th October 2012, tickets £18 to £42.

Romeo and Juliet in Baghdad

The iconic love story is relocated to Baghdad in this Iraqi Theatre Company production. Set in contemporary Iraq and in Arabic with English subtitles, this new adaptation for a new generation is infused with Iraq's rich traditions of poetry, music and ritual. At the Swan Theatre from 26th April to 5th May 2012, tickets £16 to £34.

We are likely to have tickets for many more events running across the country throughout 2012, so be sure to keep checking back.

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