An exhibition celebrating William Shakespeare’s impact across South Asia is being held at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire South Asia this month.
Shakespeare in South Asia, the result of a collaboration between Birmingham City University and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, will be the first exhibition to go on show at the second city’s famous music college until May 4.
The exhibition showcases South Asia’s fascination with Shakespeare, and his enduring influence on the cultures and lives of its people.
The exhibition takes visitors on a visual tour of each of the eight countries that make up South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) offering an intriguing snapshot into each country’s relationship with Shakespeare and how they have made him part of their own evolving history.
“Shakespeare’s works have a long and complex relationship with South Asia, a relationship which has sometimes been tested by the colonial context but which has been the root of extraordinary artistic and intellectual energy. We’re delighted to collaborate with Birmingham City University to curate this exhibition, exploring Shakespeare as the international figure who crossed borders and issues that are relevant even today,” said Jacqueline Green, Head of Learning and Participation at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Prisoners in India were tasked with performing lead roles in Shakespeare plays as part of their rehabilitation, productions of Shakespeare in Bangladesh used actors with disabilities to break down stigmas and in Nepal, ‘Hamlet’ was used to tell the story of how the Crown Prince of Nepal killed the King and 11 members of the royal family.
The exhibition’s arrival at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire comes in the run up to the 402nd anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the 454th anniversary of his birth