I was recently in China where I attended the International Shakespeare Forum in Shanghai. It was an extraordinary experience in many ways, full of lively exchanges and dialogue. Throughout my visit I was struck time and again by the level of enthusiasm and commitment shown to Shakespeare Studies and performance by those I spent time with.
As the many different dishes of banquet-style food were brought to our circular tables, the toasts and conversations flowed. Shakespeare was no longer English or European, but Chinese.
Here is a short interview I filmed with Professor He Huibin, Vice Dean of Zhejiang University. I was particularly struck by the way the names of Shakespeare’s characters and the titles of his plays have been appropriated by Chinese culture.
It was a delight talking with him and sharing our passion for literature, especially Shakespeare, so I thought you’d like to hear what he says – in English and Chinese.