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Celebration of William Shakespeare to reach millions across China

BEIJING, Jan. 28 — The Shakespeare Lives program, sponsored by the British Council and the Great Britain campaign, was launched in Beijing on Thursday.

The global program celebrates the life and work of William Shakespeare and his influence on culture, education and society on the 400th anniversary of his death

The Chinese program will feature brand new productions of The Bard's plays, as well as film, music, public talks as well as educational and online activities.

Shakespeare Lives will spark cultural, educational and economic exchange between Britain and China, British Ambassador to China Barbara Woodward said at the launch ceremony.

"(The program) is developing educational links between the UK and China, sharing the best of UK education and inspiring Chinese students to study in the UK, particularly subjects such as English literature, theater, performing arts, and film," said Woodward.

The Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare's Globe will bring "Henry IV," "Henry V" and "The Merchant of Venice" to Chinese theaters.

The Shakespeare Lives program will also stimulate deeper collaboration between creative talent in both countries.

The Gecko Theater and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center will premiere a new work in Shanghai in October, linking legendary Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu's "Dream Plays" with "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

To commemorate the anniversary of Shakespeare's death, a Chinese musical entitled "With Love, William Shakespeare" was staged in Beijing in January.

The adaptation draws inspiration from many of Shakespeare's classics, including "Romeo and Juliet," "Twelfth Night," "The Taming of the Shrew" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream," within the context of modern China. (PNA/Xinhua)


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