Shakespeare Lives in Translation at TranslateSingapore 2016

Tuesday 30 August 2016


Shakespeare Lives in Translation at TranslateSingapore 2016

Enjoy a great feast of languages with the literary and performance translation workshops hosted by British Council in partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe, British Centre for Literary Translation, Writers’ Centre Norwich and The Select Centre (Singapore)

30 August 2016

Singapore – The British Council has partnered with Shakespeare’s Globe, the British Centre for Literary Translation, Writers’ Centre Norwich and The Select Centre (Singapore) to develop literary and performance translation workshops in Singapore, encouraging participants to explore the cultural and linguistic challenges and complexities of translating Shakespeare’s plays and poetry.

“Shakespeare Lives in Translation – A Great Feast of Languages” is part of Shakespeare Lives, a global celebration of William Shakespeare’s influence on culture, language education and society. The programme will be launched as part of Select Centre’s TranslateSingapore 2016 Festival.

The workshops run from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm daily, over four days from 29 September to 2 October 2016 (Thurs-Sun) at the iconic National Gallery Singapore. They will be conducted in two languages –English-Chinese and English–Malay. The workshop will equip Singapore and regional translators and artists with the skills to work on complex linguistic challenges across theatre and literature.

Participants will be guided by local facilitators to translate dialogues, jokes, puns and the sonnets into local vernacular. The texts from Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet will play a key role in defining the intercultural significance and nuances of Shakespeare’s prose and poetry in Mandarin or Malay. These discussions take place alongside specially made video recordings of actors from Shakespeare’s Globe.

Patrick Spottiswoode, founding Director of Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe, will be the workshop’s text advisor and will chair the discussions and public events. 

The English-Chinese facilitators are Shelly Bryant, poet, writer and translator and Dr Lee Chee Keng, Assistant Professor of Humanities (Theatre) at Yale-NUS College, and Assistant Director and Chinese Translation Editor of A│S│I│A (Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive). 

Facilitators for the English-Malay workshops are multi-disciplinary arts practitioner, educator and writer “Big” Zulfadli Rashid, and poet, writer, translator and educator Rasiah Halil, whose works, in poetry, short story, essay and translation, dwell largely on social and humanitarian issues.

The workshops will culminate in a public performance of the newly translated texts. They will be accompanied by a public panel discussion around key cultural and societal themes raised by the translation and adaptation of Shakespeare’s writings during the workshops. 

Sarah Meisch, Director of Arts, British Council shared, “The universal themes of Shakespeare’s works such as identity, conflict, ambition and tyranny have been translated into films, opera, theatre and other art forms in many languages. We hope that these translation workshops celebrating Shakespeare’s influence will help develop the capabilities of the local translation sector, as writers, translators and artists come together for a unique intercultural dialogue.” 

Shakespeare Lives in Translation Workshop Details

Date: 29 Sept – 2 Oct 2016 (Thurs-Sun)
Venue: National Gallery Singapore, Rooftop Studios, 1 St Andrew Road, Singapore 178957
Full Fees: $1,200 inclusive of GST before British Council subsidy
Translator/ Arts Practitioner/ Academia: $160 nett
Student concession fees: $120 nett 

English-Chinese Workshop Registration: http://peatix.com/event/193281
English-Malay Workshop Registration:http://peatix.com/event/193295

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.sg/ShakespeareLives

*The British Council is committed to making the arts accessible to all. Participants with access needs can contact arts@britishcouncil.org.sg

Notes to Editor

1. About the British Council’s Shakespeare Lives programme

Shakespeare Lives 2016 is a global celebration of the influence of William Shakespeare on culture, language, education and society. The British Council, the GREAT Britain campaign and an unprecedented number of partners will commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death with a series of initiatives including a unique online collaboration, performances on stage and film, exhibitions, public readings, conversations, debates and educational resources that people around the world and of all ages can actively join in with from January to December 2016.

2. “Shakespeare Lives in Translation - A Great Feast of Languages” is a year-long international focus on translating Shakespeare in literature and performance. It will involve a series of up to eight international translation conferences and a chain of public panel discussions between British and international translators, writers, academics and practitioners. 

3. The Select Centre’s TranslateSingapore Festival is the first translation festival of its kind in Singapore and was launched in 2015. It seeks to (a) raise awareness about translation in society; (b) develop the capability of the local translation industry; (c) facilitate the exchange of best practices; and (d) establish Singapore as the translation hub of the region. 

 4. The GREAT Britain campaign has delivered a direct return to the economy of over £1bn since its launch and is now active in 144 countries. Unifying the international growth promotion efforts of UK Trade & Investment, VisitBritain, British Council, FCO and a number of other departments, GREAT aims to deliver significant and long-term increases in trade, tourism, education and inward investment in support of HMG’s prosperity and growth agenda.

5. The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. The organisation creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. The British Council works in more than 100 countries and its 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

6. The British Council is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of overall turnover which in 2014 was £864 million. The rest of its revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All work is in pursuit of the British Council’s charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

Media contact:

Poovan Devasagayam ( Search & Remarketing Manager)
Tel: +65 6473 1111
Email: poovan.devasagayam@britishcouncil.org.sg 

Follow #ShakespeareLives on Twitter and Instagram for live updates

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through http://twitter.com/britishcouncil and http://blog.britishcouncil.org/.