Sederi 19 — 2009
Francisco José Borge López
Sofía Muñoz Valdivieso, “’Mine ear is much enamour’d of thy note:’ Shakespeare’s Intercultural Dream in the Indian Subcontinent.” SEDERI 19 (2009): 101-121.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34136/sederi.2009.5 Download PDF
Tim Supple’s 2006 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been hailed by some critics as the successor of Peter Brook’s revolutionary 1970 version, a vision that changed perceptions of the play and became a classic in the history of its performance. Supple’s Midsummer uses about half of Shakespeare’s English text, with the rest translated into Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, Sanskrit and Sinhala. It maintains the plot and characters intact, although it includes elements of local theatrical traditions in music, dance, martial arts and acrobatics. The production defies attempts at classification, since it presents features of “foreign” Shakespeare plays yet it braids the Indian-language dialogues into Shakespeare’s original English and extends the alienation effect of a foreign language production to audiences throughout the world. The international success of this production since it premiered in Britain as part of the 2006-07 Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival at Stratford is meaningful beyond considerations of aesthetic and theatrical value. The present paper discusses Tim Supple’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream within the contexts of foreign Shakespearean performance and intercultural theatre, and it analyses the contribution of the production to current debates about the importance of Shakespeare as international cultural capital.
Keywords: A Midsummer Night’s Dream; intercultural theatre; performance studies; foreign Shakespeare.
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