Performed by players from around the world at the Globe Theatre, from Japanese!Coriolanus to Russian!Measure for Measure, these productions for the Cultural Olympiad are now available for full viewing.  Enjoy!

Tom Hiddleston on Shakespeare: “He was so forgiving of human nature. As a result I think we have a very sophisticated cultural identity. Shakespeare is in our language. If you’ve ever been more sinned against than sinning, you’re quoting Shakespeare. If you think it’s high time, you’re quoting Shakespeare. People aren’t aware of the breadth of his influence.”

Art Olympics

Herzog & de Meuron and Ai WeiweiSerpentine Gallery Pavilion
The design team behind Beijing’s Olympic bird’s nest stadium took on the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion design as well. The project took the form of architectural archaeology. The team excavated to groundwater level, creating a well that collects rainwater. As they dug down, they revealed elements of past pavilions—11 in total. Telephone cables and physical fragments and cork lined the trenches they dug, with the roof of the piece covered in water.

Who do you think deserves the gold medal?

Shakespeare’s Globe Theater will present a familiar array of the Bard’s plays in 2012 but in unfamiliar languages. The reconstructed theater, in the Southwark section of London, announced what it calls a “Cultural Olympiad,” in which all of the plays will be performed in 38 different languages. The idea is to present a theatrical counterpart to the Olympic games which are scheduled to take place in London that year.

Watch on

7 Days until Dee Day!

With Dr Dee opening at ENO on Monday 25 June, we thought we’d give you a sneak preview of what to expect in Damon Albarn’s and Rufus Norris’ opera.

Damon Albarn, among other things the multi-talented Blur and Gorillaz frontman, visited the Guardian studio with a baroque ensemble to perform two tracks, O Spirit, Animate Us, in which the old John Dee prays to God along with his daughter, as well as Apple Carts.

Need more than just 2 tracks then why not listen to the whole Dr Dee Album on Spotify?

Of course, nothing will beat the experience of seeing the spectacle live, so get your tickets for Dr Dee here:

and let us know what you think, what you’ll be wearing and how you’ll be doing your hair for the occasion on twitter. Follow us: @E_N_O #ENODrDee

Excited? We can’t wait!

(footage courtesy of Guardian online)

The Taming of the Shrew - in Urdu

‘Thirty seven plays in 37 languages. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre is a polyglot’s paradise this summer as thirty seven theatre troupes from around the world will adapt and interpret one of Shakespeare’s plays for a performance in their national language as part of Globe to Globe, kicking off on April 21 in London. Taking part in this celebration of the Bard’s 448th birthday is a Pakistani theatre company, Theatre Wallay, staging The Taming of the Shrew. Starring Nadia Jamil and Omair Rana, directed by Haissam Hussain and featuring music by Mekaal Hasan, the play will be performed in Urdu on May 25 and 26, 2012.’ - from Sanam Maher’s write-up in HERALD [February 16, 2012]

For more information check these pages out:

Also a little message from Osman Khalid Butt (who’ll play Hortensio):

 This is it, people. Five months of rigorous rehearsals have led to this moment. Am leaving for England tomorrow on a 4-city tour of The Taming of the Shrew - in Urdu, including a performance at the prestigious Globe in London [as part of the Cultural Olympiad!] Please pray that the team makes Pakistan proud! And a special shout-out to ALL the actors and crew members of the production. Fingers, toes, everything crossed! [For more information on just what we’re up to, click here:]

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Watch our comedic sports film commissioned by the 2010 Vancouver Olympics

Spring (by Lynne Kamm)

Into the Curious

Strange creatures sent back from a far away land, spells cast with knitting needles and newsprint, maps conjuring and partitioning the known and unknown world, photographs blurring into paintings. These are just a few of the stories layered within the installation Into the Curious which begins The Curious Case Of… exhibition currently at the Great North Museum: Hancock.  The exhibition is a part of the Stories of the World project and the Cultural Olympiad.

Into the Curious @ The Great North Museum: Hancock

 until September 23

Art in full flow on Gateshead’s riverside

Gateshead’s growing reputation as a major Centre for the arts was boosted today thanks to the opening of an amazing public installation to celebrate London 2012.

~Flow is  piece of public art that turns the movement of the River Tyne into music. The public will be able to board ~Flow all through the summer to play instruments on board which are powered by a watermill.

One of twelve public art commissions funded by the UK Arts Councils as part of the Cultural Olympiad, the project is a collaboration between arts collective Owl Project and music producer Ed Carter. The panel that commissioned the project commented: “By exploring issues of environmental sustainability and the reinvention of a region with a proud history of innovation, we thought it would leave a real legacy.”

Visit the ~Flow website to find out about all the exciting things on offer at the opening day.

Image ©Jill Tate