A Different Shakespeare – Graeae Theatre in Bangladesh
Graeae Theatre Company has been working with Dhaka Theatre, Bangladesh since 2013 to create a long-term training programme with young disabled adults in Bangladesh. This work led to a new Shakespeare production of Romeo and Juliet in 2016, to mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death.
The project was led by Dhaka Theatre’s Nasiruddin Yousuff director of the acclaimed production of The Tempest which was part of Shakespeare’s Globe’s Globe to Globe festival in 2012 in collaboration with Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company, and Co-Artistic Director of the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony.
Company members were drawn from different groups of disabled people from Bangladeshi society, with participants from Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP-Bangladesh), Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and the BRIDGE Foundation. The production management team was drawn from company members from the Dhaka Theatre Company.
A Different Romeo and Juliet premiered at the Shilpakala Academy (National Academy of Fine and Performing Arts), Bangladesh’s principal national cultural centre, in March 2016, as part of the British Council’s Shakespeare Lives programme. Sealy was interviewed by The Stage about her work on the project which you can read here. More details about the production on the British Council Bangladesh website.
A documentary about the creation of A Different Romeo and Juliet will be shown at Alchemy 2016.