BWB - BrionyCampbell

Bards Without Borders: Shakespeare 400

Saturday 23rd April 2016

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Richmix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA

8pm, £10/£8

Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Shakespeare has been dead for a while, and on the anniversary of his death Bards Without Borders (BWB) held an international wake, all be it 400 years late! Imagine a multilingual carnivalesque funeral which blended the traditions of ten different countries and involved a few of the Bard’s major and minor characters.

BWB, the London-based collective of poets and musicians from refugee and migrant backgrounds hosted an evening of new poetry, live music, puppetry and revelry rounded off with a DJ set and the chance to toast the original Bard and make sure he was truly spinning (and dancing) in his coffin. Bards Without Borders broke all borders be they national, spiritual or literal. The night set the record straight on how Shakespeare shines a light on our very own experiences of journey, loss, joy and displacement.

Stirringly good, heartfelt and skilled music for the ears tonight from #Bardswithoutborders (@DebsNewbold)

Just when I needed a reminder that there is so much loveliness in the world (@skanoli)

If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction. (William Shakespeare)

Following workshops led by poet/facilitator Laila Sumpton and theatre director Arne Pohlmeier (Two Gents Productions) and sell out debut performances at Hackney Showrooms, Arcola Theatre and the Poetry Café this Rich Mix performance marked the exact date, 400 years ago, of Shakespeare’s passing.

Presented in association with Platforma Arts & Refugees Network and supported by Arts Council England, Global Shakespeare and Spread The Word.

BWB poets: Freddy Macha, Tolu Agbelusi, Shamim Azad, Alia’ Kuwalit, Belinda Zhawi, Edin Suljic, Lloyd Benjamin, Haroon O Mahdi, Barbara Lopez, Fatima Diriye & Hamdi Khalif.

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