Politicising Shakespeare

Jul 04, 2019, 11:00 AM
This week on the podcast we celebrate the particular fascination of Poland with Shakespeare, exploring how Polish artists have appreciated, performed and played with Shakespeare’s work, and none more so than the renowned Polish playwright, artist, director and craftsman Stanisław Wyspiański. It’s sometimes too easy to think of Shakespeare as being particularly English, and to have a set idea about how the plays should be performed. So, this week on the podcast, we’ll be asking what is the particular fascination with Shakespeare in Poland, and how has it become so politicised? How does Shakespeare cross international borders and how does this change the way we read, understand, perform and see Shakespeare? And what do we mean when we talk about the ‘universality’ of Shakespeare? We chat to translators Tony Howard and Barbara Bogoczek about the life and work of Stanisław Wyspiański; director Nastazja Somers and actress Edyta Budnik delve into The Death of Ophelia, a chance to hear from one of Shakespeare’s best-known but least heard characters; and Dr Will Tosh explores how Shakespeare’s work has spread across the world and what that means for Shakespeare today.

Please note: today’s episode includes references to suicide and mental health issues.