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2012 marks the World Shakespeare Festival and a new RSC artistic director

  • Date: 5 April 2012
  • Area: Midlands
A man with a beard

Gregory Doran . Credit: Ellie Kurttz

Tickets for The World Shakespeare Festival (WSF), a celebration of Shakespeare as the world's playwright, go on sale on Monday 23 April. The WSF forms part of the London 2012 Festival which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.

The Festival is produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), and is a  collaboration with leading UK and international arts organisations, and with Globe to Globe, a major international programme produced by Shakespeare's Globe. It is the biggest celebration of Shakespeare ever staged.

Almost 60 partners are coming together to bring the Festival alive.  Thousands of artists from around the world will take part in almost 70 productions, plus supporting events and exhibitions, right across the UK, including London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Newcastle/Gateshead, Birmingham, Wales and Scotland and online.

Over one million tickets are on sale. It runs from 23 April to November 2012.

Ros Robins. Regional Director, Arts Council England, West Midlands, said: 'We are proud that the work of William Shakespeare, a son of the West Midlands, is celebrated as part of London 2012 Festival which runs alongside the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Many of the plays will be performed in the region and form just a part of a huge programme of cultural events on offer during the London 2012 Festival across the region.'

Ros also welcomed the appointment of Gregory Doran as the new RSC Artistic Director.  He will succeed Michael Boyd from September this year.

Gregory was previously Chief Associate Director.  He has a long history with the RSC, initially starting as an actor.

Ros commented: 'Greg is an excellent choice to lead the RSC forward artistically, building on the great work of Michael Boyd. He is popular with artists and audiences alike and we forward to seeing more of Greg's work during the World Shakespeare Festival.'

Gregory Doran added: 'I am delighted to be appointed as Artistic Director of this great company.  I joined the RSC 25 years ago, first as an actor, then as assistant director and then Chief Associate, so I guess if my appointment represents something, it represents a long term commitment to the disciplines and craftsmanship required to do the astonishing plays of our Star of Poets, William Shakespeare. '

More information on the WSF

And for more information on Gregory's appointment