Long held as Britain's 'national poet', Shakespeare's role in the 2012 London Cultural Olympiad confirmed his status as a global icon in the modern world. From his prominent positioning in the Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies, to his major presence in the cultural programme surrounding the Games, including the Royal Shakespeare Company's World Shakespeare Festival and the Globe's Globe to Globe Festival, Shakespeare played a major role in the way the UK presented itself to its citizens and to the world.
This collection explores the cultural forces at play in the construction, use and reception of Shakespeare during the 2012 Olympic Moment, considering what his presence says about culture, politics and identity in twenty-first century British and global life.
Paul Prescott is Reader in English at the University of Warwick, UK. Erin Sullivan is Lecturer and Fellow at The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, UK.
List of figures List of contributors Preface Paul Prescott and Erin Sullivan 1: Shakespeare and the Dream of Olympism Paul Prescott 2: Two Poems from the Olympic Year Kapka Kassabova 3: Performing Shakespeare in the Olympic Year: Interviews with Three Practitioners Frank Cottrell Boyce Tom Bird Tracy Irish 4: States of the Nations: Henry VI, the London Olympics and the Spectacular City Stuart Hampton-Reeves 5: Shakespeare in the North: Regionalism, Culture and Power Adam Hansen and Monika Smialkowska 6: Shakespeare, Spectatorship and the `Olympic Spirit' Stephen Purcell 7: Expert Spectatorship and Intra-Audience Relationships at Globe to Globe 2012 Rose Elfman 8: `Mind the gap': Globalism, Postcolonialism and Making up Africa in the Cultural Olympiad Colette Gordon 9: A Tale of Two Londons: Locating Shakespeare and Dickens in 2012 Peter Kirwan and Charlotte Mathieson 10: 1948/2012: Building Nations Tony Howard 11: Olympic Shakespeare and the Idea of Legacy: Culture, Capital and the Global Future Erin Sullivan Afterword Kathleen McLuskie Index