The performances of Shakespeare’s plays continue this week as we head closer to Shakespeare’s birthday, but we also have had many new books, speeches, and plays inspired by his work and his words.
The Irish president, Michael D. Higgins visited Stratford on Avon this week and showed enormous appreciation for the work of Shakespeare in how it changed the language of both England and Ireland. In a speech given to the people of Stratford, he spoke very eloquently about the importance of English to the history of Britain and Ireland and to the world. He says, “To share a language is to privilege the existence of the other, to accept the joy and the responsibility of hospitality. To search for the expression of hope, grief, and justice in a common language is a deepening and widening of understanding. It is to expand the horizons of solidarity, and solidarity is the search always and everywhere for a future in a world not yet fashioned or even born, where our children and their children can share in compassionate mutual understanding.” His beautiful speech is available in full text in the article from the Stratford Observer.
The Box Collective announces a new play “116: A Shakespeare Play” at The New Ohio Theater, NYC. The co-directors, Sara George and Andrea Goldman, choose Shakespeare’s text as a springboard for a new sort of playmaking. George has written the play woven from the threads of plays and poems of Shakespeare, and made it a deeply personal story of a modern man and woman, with the language itself always on display. The show runs through April 20.
If you prefer new novels to new plays, Christopher Moore has recently published his second Shakespeare inspired comic fantasy, The Serpent of Venice. In his typical brash, and historically uninterested tone, Moore mashes together the plots of Othello and The Merchant of Venice. Those looking for something a bit more down the lines of non-fiction might like The Science of Shakespeare, a new book in which Dan Falk explores the connections between the Bard and discoveries in science at his time.
Want to join in on the creativity The Guardian gives two opportunities. You can share your favorite Shakespeare quote, using either The Vine or Instagram or you can join in a conversation about performances of the character Falstaff. Who is your favorite drinker or sack, or most eloquent defender of cowardice? Tell your story here.