Shakespeare Lives In Translation Workshop
Shakespeare Lives In Translation Workshop ©

British Council

View the the highlights of the translation workshop and the translated works of Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet videos:


Hamlet: Mandarin version1

Hamlet: Mandarin version 2

Hamlet: Malay 

Romeo & Juliet: Manadrin

Romeo & Juliet: Malay


Event Details
Date: 29 Sept – 2 Oct 2016 (Thursday – Sunday)
Venue: National Gallery Singapore, Rooftop Studios 
          1 St Andrews Road, Singapore 178957

- Full Fees: SGD$160
- Concession: SGD$120
Register here for English to Chinese
Register here for English to Malay

**In the event that the minimum number of participants is not met, the workshop will be cancelled.

The British Council, in partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe and UK’s top translation organisations, Writers’ Centre Norwich, and the British Centre for Literary Translation, together with the Select Centre (Singapore) will present the Asian leg of Shakespeare Lives in Translation – A Great Feast of Languages. It is organised as part of TranslateSingapore 2016.

To translate or not to translate? Take on Shakespare in this intensive 4-day workshop, and turn extracts from two of his most famous plays, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, into Chinese and Malay!

The four day intensive workshop is for anyone interested in professionalising their literary and performance translation skills, as a writer, translator, theatre artist or academic. Participants should have some background in translation. 

Participants will
• Be guided by local facilitators to translate Shakespeare’s dialogues, jokes, puns and sonnets into either Chinese or Malay;
• Be partnered with actors to test the performability of their translated text;
• Have their translated texts performed at a public showcase on the final day (2 October). 

Although the focus of the workshop is on translating Shakespeare, the short extracts from two plays act as a starting point for discussing challenges around literary translation and theatre translation more broadly. 

The workshop will be accompanied by discussions around key cultural and societal themes raised by translation and adaptation of Shakespeare’s writing.

The workshop is ideal for you if you are a/an:
• Early to mid-career translator keen to explore a career in the arts;
• Student exploring careers in translation;
• Writer starting to work across multiple languages;
• Performer, director, dramaturg or theatre artist who works in both English and Chinese or Malay theatre;
• Shakespeare enthusiast with some experience in translation

The workshop will have two language tracks: 
English-to-Chinese, led by the workshop leaders Shelly Bryant and Lee Chee Keng; and 
English-to-Malay, led by Rasiah Halil and “Big” Zufadli Rashid. 

A text advisor, Patrick Spottiswoode from Shakespeare’s Globe, will be onsite to work with the participants. 

Participants may be screened for experience in translation. Participants are expected to commit to the four-day process. 

Please contact us at if you have specific access needs.

Shakespeare Lives in Translation – A Great Feast of Languages 

Shakespeare Lives in Translation – A Great Feast of Languages is a year-long international focus on translating Shakespeare for performance. It involves a series of international translation conferences and a chain of public panel discussions between British and international translators, writers, academics and practitioners. 

TranslateSingapore 2016

TranslateSingapore is back this September to celebrate the cultural and linguistic richness of Singapore! Based on the theme “Mari Kita Berbual-berbual” (“Let’s Talk”), the festival will present a full line-up of programmes, including the main forum that looks at the cultural interflows between Chinese and Malay; an opening lecture by Dr Henry Liu, president of the International Federation of Translators; translating Shakespeare workshops; Malay language class; storytelling session for children, book launches and more!

On 30 September, we celebrate International Translation Day with special events and the launch of the October edition of Words Without Borders. Guest-edited by The Select Centre, the respected international literature journal will feature new translations of works by Singapore writers Kanagalatha, KTM Iqbal, Kuo Pao Kun, Masuri S.N., Sa’eda Buang and Wong Koi Tet.

To check out more events under TranslateSingapore, please click here. For more information, please email or visit


English-Malay Facilitator Information

Shelly Bryant 

Shelly Bryant divides her year between Shanghai and Singapore, working as a poet, writer, and translator. She is the author of eight volumes of poetry (Alban Lake and Math Paper Press), a pair of travel guides for the cities of Suzhou and Shanghai (Urbanatomy), and a book on classical Chinese gardens (Hong Kong University Press). She has translated work from Chinese for Penguin Books, Epigram Publishing, the National Library Board in Singapore, Giramondo Books, and Rinchen Books. Shelly's poetry has appeared in journals, magazines, and websites around the world, as well as in several art exhibitions. Her translation of Sheng Keyi’s Northern Girls was long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2012, and her translation of You Jin's In Time, Out of Place was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize in 2016. You can visit her website at


Rasiah Halil

Rasiah Halil is a poet, writer, translator and educator. Published since 1972 in Singapore and later in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Iowa, USA, and Australia, Rasiah's works, in poetry, short story, essay and translation, dwell largely on social and humanitarian issues. Her books include Perbualan Buku Catatan Seorang Gipsi [Conversations: Notebook of a Gypsy; 1988], Orang Luar [The Outsider; 1991], Sungai & Lautan [River & Ocean; 1995], Ayah Tidak Sayang Padaku Lagi [Father No Longer Loves Me; 2007], Hikayat Sri Anggerik [The Chronicles of Sri Anggerik; 2007] and Nyanyian Si Anak Dagang (Songs of the Outsider. 2013) and her works can also be found in various compilations. Since 1983, Rasiah's works received many Commendations and five Malay Literature Awards for poetry, literary essays and books. Under the pseudonyms of 'Sri Anggerik' (1998 – 2006) and 'Tun Fatimah' (2004 – 2009), Rasiah wrote topics on human interest and literature for the Singapore Malay newspaper, Berita Minggu. She taught in a junior college and three institutions of higher learning in Singapore and Brunei. Rasiah attended the University of Iowa's International Writing Programme in 1995 on a Fulbright Scholarship. 

English-Chinese Facilitator Information

Lee Chee Keng 

Dr Lee Chee Keng brings with him over two decades of experience across diverse types of translations, both from English into Chinese as well as Chinese into English. He also translates from Japanese into Chinese. He is a writer and academic who works in both Chinese and English. He is currently Assistant Professor of Humanities (Theatre) at Yale-NUS College, and also serves as Assistant Director and Chinese Translation Editor of A│S│I│A (Asian Shakespeare Intercultural Archive), an online education and research archive for Asian Shakespeare performances.


Zulfadli Rashid
An educator, a writer, and a multi-disciplinary arts practitioner, Zulfadli Rashid or 'Big' as he is known to his peers, has explored diverse issues pertaining to the Singaporean person in his works. In his practice, Zulfadli has had the opportunity to become the resident playwright of Panggung Arts and has written and adapted numerous plays staged by various companies and freelance performers. Apart from writing plays, he also dabbles in poetry recitals and performance art when such opportunities arise. In January 2016, his play, The Chronicles of One and Zero: Kancil, a collaboration with the artist collective, Zeugma, was presented at the M1 Fringe Festival, where it received encouraging responses from the audience.

Currently, he is mentoring young, exciting playwrights in Teater Ekamatra's Playwright Mentorship Programme. Looking forward to the future, Zulfadli hopes to work with artistes of various disciplines to continue to create works that will entertain, enlighten, and inspire.

UK Facilitator Information

Patrick Spottiswoode 

Patrick Spottiswoode joined Shakespeare's Globe in 1984 and became founding Director, Globe Education in 1989. He worked with Sam Wanamaker for nine years. Spottiswoode has undertaken annual lecture tours to schools, universities and theatres the length and breadth of Germany since 1985. His 2010 series Shakespeare is German explored Germany’s particular fascination with Shakespeare and resulted in a BBC radio documentary which he presented. Over the past seven years Deutsche Bank UK has supported an annual production in the Globe created especially for young people which has enabled Globe Education to give close to 100,000 free tickets to London schools. In 2009, Spottiswoode was President of the Shakespeare Club of Great Britain. In 2011, he received an Honorary PhD from the University of Warwick and became an honorary fellow of King’s College London. Spottiswoode was President of Shakespeare Theatre Association in 2011 and 2012. He is a recipient of an Al Mahabba Award and the 2011 Burbage Award from the American Shakespeare Center. He is on the Board of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, the Institute of Historical Dress and is a Patron of the Lighthouse Trust.