Global online gathering of Shakespeare fans

Published: 2 June 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Bringing people together: William Shakespeare

A free series of online events about England’s most famous playwright William Shakespeare is to be hosted by the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute.

A three-day festival will mark the beginning of the Shakespeare Beyond Borders Alliance, a global network that aims to unite those working with Shakespeare from around the world and from across the social spectrum.

Each day, there will be a series of discussions with representatives from theatre companies, charities, prison networks, publishing houses, tourist and curatorial industries, arts organisations and government bodies.

The Alliance is being established by its three co-chairs: Professor Michael Dobson, director of the Shakespeare Institute, Dr Chris Laoutaris, senior lecturer in Shakespeare at the Shakespeare Institute, and Dr Rowan Mackenzie, founder and artistic director of Shakespeare UnBard.

Dr Laoutaris commented, "Shakespeare has the power to bring people together and foster equality. We hope the Shakespeare Beyond Borders Alliance will facilitate dialogue, collaboration, understanding and mutual learning across national, social and disciplinary borders.”

Dr Mackenzie added, "the sheer breadth of topics guarantees something to pique the interest of anyone with an interest in Shakespeare—no matter where in the world they live. We’re delighted to work with so many of the Shakespeare Institute's partners on what promises to be a fascinating and absorbing three days."

The festival will run from Wednesday 9 until Friday 11 June. Anyone can register free of charge at the University of Birmingham web site which has a list of confirmed speakers.