Saturday 13 September 2014

Shakespeare in China

Macbeth (simplified Chinese)
The UK government has just announced a package of measures to boost business and cultural links with China. These include paying for both a complete translation of all Shakespeare’s works into Mandarin, and for the translation of a number of classic Chinese dramatic works into English.

UK Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Creating stronger links with China is a top priority for the Government, and sharing the very best of our respective cultures is a brilliant way to make this happen. This funding means Western and Eastern cultures can learn from and be enriched by one another and what better way than using the works of Shakespeare.”

The translation of Shakespeare’s works will be undertaken by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), which has also secured funding for a tour of China in 2016 to help commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, said: “I profoundly believe that we foster deeper understanding between cultures by sharing and telling each other our stories. Therefore, I am hugely excited by the ambitions of our Chinese cultural partners and their interest in working with the Royal Shakespeare Company on these new collaborations. China has a rich dramatic heritage that mirrors the epic scale, complexity and universality of Shakespeare’s work and a national curriculum which requires young people to study his plays. Our plans to translate Shakespeare into Mandarin, to see translation and performance of more Chinese classics in the UK and to tour RSC productions to China will celebrate the arts and culture of both nations.”

I am trying to track down comment from the Chinese government.