Arts organisations across the world to join forces in the 2012 celebrations

One million tickets will go on sale from 10 October for the World Shakespeare Festival, a Cultural Olympiad celebration being produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in collaboration with leading UK and international arts organisations, and with Globe to Globe, an international programme produced by Shakespeare’s Globe. The Festival will feature more than 50 arts companies and venues and thousands of professional artists, as well as involving amateur theatre makers.

Arts organisations from all four countries of the UK will be taking part, but so too are others from across the world, including Mexico, Tunisia, Iraq, USA, China, Russia, Japan and Spain, and Shakespeare’s Globe will be performing all of Shakespeare’s plays in thirty-seven different languages over a six-week period. The Festival will run from 23 April to November 2012 and will form part of the London 2012 Festival, which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad. It will include productions, exhibitions and a range of other events and online activities. The BBC will be launching its own Shakespeare season in November 2011. Financial support for the Festival comes from BP, as ‘Founding Presenting Partner’, as well as through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and Arts Council England.
Thousands of teachers and young people from across the world will take also part in the Festival. New research by the RSC and the British Council has revealed that around 64 million of the world’s school children study Shakespeare, and a number of initiatives will aim to create a legacy for young people. An international education conference will explore the influence of Shakespeare in classrooms around the world; an Shakespeare arts award will be open to young people aged 11–25; a collaboration called ‘Shakespeare: A World Wide Classroom’ will be conducting research among teachers and students from across the world, asking about where, how and why Shakespeare is taught, and a project will connect students in the UK with young people in India, South Africa, Oman, the USA, Hong Kong and Czech Republic; and specially commissioned digital materials for schools and students will be launched in a new collaboration between the RSC and BBC Learning called Shakespeare Unlocked.