Next month the Globe to Globe Festival 2012 kicks off and will be hosting multiple shows throughout April running all the way into June. The first show to launch the event will be ‘Venus & Adonis’ by the FABulous Isango Esemble from Cape Town, South Africa. This great Shakespeare show will be performed in IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, SeSotho, Setswana, Afrikaans and South African English.



Saturday 21 April 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Sunday 22 April 6.30pm



Globe to Globe – For the first time, 37 international companies present all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages in a kaleidoscopic, six-week festival at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, starting on Shakespeare’s birthday.  An opening weekend of celebrations also includes an adaptation of Venus and Adonis by the Isango Ensemble from South Africa, a public open day at the Globe to celebrate Shakespeare and the worlds’ languages, and Ngākau Toa’s Troilus and Cressida beginning the festival with a haka.  Globe to Globe is part of the World Shakespeare Festival and the Cultural Olympiad 2012.



The unique and much-loved Isango Ensemble from Cape Town kick proceedings off with a carnival interpretation of this great narrative poem. Isango have already enchanted audiences in the West End with their reimagining of The MysteriesYiimimangaliso and The Magic Flute – Impempe Yomlingo. They will bring the same modern African sensibility, brimming over with song and dance, to Shakespeare’s great story of seduction and loss of innocence.


Isango Ensemble is an internationally renowned South African theatre company that draws its artists from the townships around Cape Town. Its stage productions and films have played to sold out audiences across the world, and it has received numerous international awards. Isango’s productions re-imagine classics from the Western theatre canon, finding a new context for the stories within a South African or Township setting, thereby creating inventive work relevant to the heritage of the nation.


The Company’s structure embraces artists at all stages of their creative development, allowing senior artists to lead and contribute towards the growth of rising talents. We are committed to creating theatre that is accessible to all South Africans and to contributing to a more united South African nation. Isango’s award winning film u-Carmen eKhayelitsha and our second film Son of Man were filmed on a location in Khayelitsha and propelled this historically disadvantaged township into the international spotlight.


According to 2001 census data, there were almost four million first language Sotho speakers recorded in South Africa — approximately eight per cent of the population. Sotho is also the main language spoken by the people of Lesotho, where, according to 1993 data, it was spoken by about 1,493,000 people, or 85% of the population.  Sotho is one of the eleven official languages of South Africa, and one of the two official languages of Lesotho.


Zulu is the language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority (over 95%) of whom live in South Africa. Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa (24% of the population) as well as being understood by over 50% of the population (Ethnologue 2005). It became one of South Africa’s eleven official languages in 1994.



Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa. Xhosa is spoken by approximately 7.9 million people, or about 18% of the South African population. Like most Bantu languages, Xhosa is a tonal language, that is, the same sequence of consonants and vowels can have different meanings when said with a rising or falling or high or low intonation. One of the most distinctive features of the language is the prominence of click consonants; the word “Xhosa” begins with a click.


Tswana or Setswana is a language spoken in Southern Africa by about 4.5 million people.  Tswana is an official language and lingua franca of Botswana spoken by almost 1.1 million of its inhabitants. However, the majority of Tswana speakers are found in South Africa where 3.4 million people speak the language.


Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch originating in its 17th century dialects collectively referred to as Cape Dutch. The term South African English is applied to the first-language dialects of English spoken by South Africans.


Tickets for Globe to Globe start at just £5, and a series of multibuy schemes are in place, including the Yard Olympian which will allow you to see all 38 productions for just £100. Full details can be found at the end of this release.


For further information on Globe to Globe please contact Stephen Pidcock or Charlotte Bayley at The Corner Shop PR on 020 7494 3665 /

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