On 23 April 2014 the famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London began its most ambitious project yet: an unprecedented two-year tour of Hamlet that will visit every single country on earth.
We will be taking Hamlet to audiences not just in Europe and America but also Somaliland, Guinea Bissau, the Central African Republic, Ukraine, Kosovo, North Korea, Afghanistan, Liberia, Mauritania and South Sudan to name just a few of the world’s poorest and most troubled places.
Sixteen extraordinary men and women from the Globe in London will perform a fresh and pared down version of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy wherever we can pitch our stage; on beaches, in theatres, palaces, village squares, Mayan ruins, even on the Maidan in Kiev, site of the recent protests in Ukraine.
OUR CAMPAIGN IS IN ITS FINAL DAYS! PLEASE BACK US NOW
“In 1608, only eight years after it was written, Hamlet was performed on a boat – the Red Dragon – off the coast of Yemen. Just ten years later it was being toured extensively all over Northern Europe. The spirit of touring, and of communicating stories to fresh ears, was always central to Shakespeare’s work. We couldn’t be happier to be extending that mission even further. By train, coach, plane and boat we aim to take this wonderful, iconic, multifarious play to as many fresh ears as we possibly can.” Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe
Why on earth do we want to undertake this huge and complex project?
Access to the arts is part of Shakespeare's Globe's DNA - from the day we opened our doors in 1997, 700 audience members per performance have been able to pay just £5. It is our belief that no matter what your financial circumstances art should be accessible. This is as true at the Globe itself, as it should be everywhere in the world..
Along the way we’ll be honouring the many friendships built with the 37 international theatre companies who performed Shakespeare in their own languages at the Globe as part of the 2012 London Olympic Festival. For example, we’ll be visiting our friends the South Sudan Theatre Company, whose country, the newest democracy in the world is now on the brink of a civil war. In 2012 SSTC travelled to London to present Cymbeline in Juba Arabic – South Sudan’s first production of a Shakespeare play. Safety and security remains a major concern, the financial and political hurdles are many and high, but we remain hopeful of being able to perform in the courtyard of Juba University to the young and old of South Sudan in January 2016.
Please help to keep our promise to the South Sudan Theatre Company and others like them by backing us NOW
Yes, we’re very well known and an established theatre company but the Shakespeare's Globe is a not-for-profit organisation. We are a charity which remains entirely dependent on donations, gifts, and sponsorship on top of ticket sales to provide not just high quality performances but a huge education programme to schools and a centre of academic research for scholars of Shakespeare. You may be surprised to learn that the Globe doesn't receive regular Government funding in the UK.
We are working hard to raise funds for Globe to Globe Hamlet from every kind of source in the UK and internationally - from the venues and festivals that we’re visiting in wealthier countries; from local government agencies, charities and philanthropic donors, and we’re very grateful for their pledges… but we still need to raise the final £200,000 and we’re turning to you, the international community of Kickstarter.
Funds raised from our Kickstarter pitch will support the costs of giving performances in the poorest and most unstable countries in the world where there is little basic infrastructure for the people let alone any provision for the arts.
Are we really going to travel to every country in the world? Even where there are wars?
In return for your support we’re offering some unique and great rewards,
Want to join a Google hangout with the cast on tour? Want to own a local language tour poster from our South Sudan adventure or from any other of the countries we visit? Go for dinner with our Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole in London? Own one of the two Yorick skulls actually used in performance by Hamlet on the tour? Be thanked on camera as part of the documentary we’re making? Wear a limited edition Globe to Globe Hamlet T shirt? Own a copy of Hamlet’s famous monologue ‘To be or not to be’ in Juba Arabic? French? Japanese? Mandarin? Own a framed section of the actual arras cloth from the tour?
Check out the rewards we’re offering in the panel to the right – we’re regularly updating our offers
Meet our intrepid company
Risks and challenges
Globe to Globe Hamlet is the most intrepid theatrical tour ever undertaken. It is totally unprecedented and will be a unique experience for everyone involved. Any project like this has its hazards, but we at the Globe are in communication with experts all over the world to mitigate these risks. The Globe has always had an audacious spirit, and we relish the challenge of taking on this extraordinary adventure.
Please read the rewards carefully as some are deliverable only once the two-year tour is completed. Please also note that rewards do not include flights and accommodation.
The reality is we need help from the Kickstarter community to help us reach our goal. Kickstarter is helping us to fill a funding gap. This is because we are unable solely to cover the costs of giving performances in the poorest and most unstable countries in the world where there is little basic infrastructure for the people let alone any provision for the art. If we don't hit our target we will keep trying to raise the funds to make sure every country can have Hamlet.
Own Hamlet's 'To be or not to be' monologue in any language of your choice. The design will incorporate the Globe to Globe Hamlet map and will be sent to you wherever you are in the world. PLUS you will receive all of the above rewards.
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so..." Backing at this level you will enjoy all the rewards above as well as an exclusive Globe to Globe Hamlet beach ball. Be the envy at the park or on the beach with this year's must have summer accessory.
"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't..." as well as the rewards above, to mark our epic journey we will be producing an exclusive t-shirt for Kickstarter backers. Wear yours in the knowledge you have helped realise our goal of reaching every country in the world.
"One may smile, and smile, and be a villain..." All of the above plus your name credited in the final version of the film we produce about our epic journey, an invitation to meet the cast at Shakespeare's Globe at the end of the tour and your name credited in Globe Theatre programmes for the two years of the tour.
"Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice..." All of the above plus an on camera thank you from a member of the cast to be included in the film we make about the tour. You will also be invited to an exclusive screening of our 'A Summer Hamlet' which won the Audience Choice Award at the Fort Myers Film Festival this year.