400th death anniversary of Shakespeare

Plays, films and courses

A flurry of Shakespeare-related activities, from exhibitions to film screenings and plays, will be held here to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death.

Most of these fall under the global programme Shakespeare Lives organised here by the British Council and British High Commission Singapore.

Mr Roland Davies, the Council's director, acknowledges that some may see Shakespeare as "dry, academic and distanced".

"To make it more accessible, we've brought in some films and we're doing things on social media for people to contribute their favourite quotes. We hope people who have studied Shakespeare will discover more about him and those who don't know him can learn more and enrich themselves," he adds.

The Sunday Times suggests five ways to immerse yourself in the Bard.

1. Watch the plays

Nothing beats seeing the Bard dramatised on stage.

Emerging Chinese director Huang Ying is putting on an "Eastern satire", his take on the tragedy Macbeth at The Esplanade next month, while the Singapore Repertory Theatre will stage Romeo And Juliet for its annual Shakespeare In The Park production in April.

Tickets for Macbeth and Shakespeare In The Park - Romeo & Juliet are available from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

2. Watch the screen adaptations

Film buffs can look forward to a slew of Shakespeare films. The British Council and The Arts House are holding a screening on April 23, which includes tragedies such as Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996), Peter Brook's King Lear (1971), Roman Polanski's Macbeth (1971) and Oliver Parker's Othello (1995).

3. Visit Shakespeare-related exhibitions

A touring Shakespeare Lives exhibition brought in by the British Council is expected to tour public libraries here from March to September.

In May, head to the Shaking It With Shakespeare exhibition at the Singapore Philatelic Museum which features stamps from the museum's collection, issued from countries such as Liechtenstein and Niger and runs till March next year. Admission is free for Singaporeans and permanent residents.

4. Study Shakespeare

Perfect for those who enjoy e-learning courses. The British Council is running Exploring English: Shakespeare, a free six-week course which ends on Feb 21, which will cover the themes addressed in five plays.

Users can sign up at any time. Educators can tap on learning resources in its Shakespeare school packs, available for free online. For more information, go to www.shakespearelives.org

5. Talk about Shakespeare

Grab a cuppa and head down to a panel at Costa Coffee at Somerset 313 on April 23 at 2.30pm, Shakespeare's birthday.

Organised by the British coffee chain, it will feature speakers such as Singapore actor Adrian Pang, who has played Hamlet, as well as a leading British expert on Shakespeare.

The names of the speakers will be confirmed at a later date.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 17, 2016, with the headline '400th death anniversary of Shakespeare Plays, films and courses South Korea/Japan Greater China'. Print Edition | Subscribe