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Haka opens Shakespeare festival with a roar – Entertainment (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A rousing haka war cry by Maori actors kicked off a marathon program of 37 Shakespeare plays in 37 languages as a cultural curtain-raiser for the 2012 London Olympics.

The Ngakau Toa theatre company, who launch the festival with their performance of Troilus And Cressida, shook London’s Globe Theatre with the rhythmic stamping and cries made famous by New Zealand’s rugby team.

The actors’ tattooed thighs were an unusual sight at the Globe Theatre, a replica of the 16th century playhouse on the south bank of the River Thames that presented many of of Shakespeare’s plays during his own lifetime.

Other highlights of the Shakespeare festival will include a South Sudanese version of Cymbeline, a performance of The Comedy Of Errors by Afghan actors, and Richard III by the National Theatre of China.

Deaf actors will also present Love’s Labours Lost in sign language.The festival runs until June 9 as part of cultural celebrations leading up to the Olympics, which begin on July 27.

“It’s probably one of the most ambitious festivals of all time,” director Tom Bird said, adding that a key aim was to attract London’s many linguistic communities to the theatre.

“The other thing is to show that Shakespeare isn’t really an English poet,” he said.

“He’s become a part of world culture.”

via Haka opens Shakespeare festival with a roar – Entertainment (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Strange Random Maori Quote:

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” – Maori Proverb

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