This year marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and events and shows have taken place worldwide to mark the occasion. One was The Complete Walk in London, a series of 37 ten-minute-long films adapting all of The Bard’s films and starring the likes of Gemma Arterton and Omid Djalili.
Later this month, a selection of the films will be shown here in Dubai as part of the film festival Shakespeare in the Sands. The first event will feature nine of the videos, with more planned over the next few months.
One of the organisers, Asad Raza Khan, chatted to us about the power of Shakespeare and some of the films on show.
“There has never before been a festival that covers all of his work with such detail and finesse – the videos are made by the Globe Theatre, using the best of the UK’s talent,” he says.
As well as screenings of the films, there will also be panel discussions, monologues and costume competitions. Here, Khan talks you through it…
A Midsummer Night’s Dream “Shakespeare’s most popular comedy portrays the adventures of four youths and a group of amateur actors in an enchanted forest. There’s a fairy king, star-crossed lovers and a weaver who’s transformed into a half-donkey.” The film stars Nikki Amuka-Bird and David Caves.
Measure for Measure “It’s classified a comedy, but it can’t easily be described as either a comedy or tragedy. The plot centres on a judge employed by the Duke of Vienna to rule his land while he investigates the moral decay of his dukedom.” Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen plays the Duke.
Othello “It revolves around four characters: Othello, his wife, Desdemona, his lieutenant Cassio and his unfaithful ensign Iago. Given its enduring themes of racism, love, jealousy and betrayal, it’s still performed in professional and community theatre alike.” David Harewood stars.
The Merry Wives of Windsor “This is the most farcical of the plays. Full of surprises, suitors, false identities and brilliant punchlines, this is the only one of his plays that you could call a modern sitcom.” Mel Giedroyc, who you may recognise from The Great British Bake Off plays one of the titular wives.