SHAKESPEARE’S First Folio is being looked at from a whole new perspective.
The Royal Shakespeare Company has partnered with Arts&Heritage to examine the 1623 collection of comedies, tragedies and histories from the perspectives of refugees living in Stratford today.
Artist, composer and performer Liz Gre, has worked with women from Syria, Palestine, Kurdistan and Sudan to co-produce a new sound and film installation, called ثلاثة خيوط ذهبية (Three Gold Threads), which will be on show until April 2024, in the RSC’s The Play’s The Thing exhibition.
Stephanie Allen, Chief Executive at Arts&Heritage, said: “This partnership is an exciting addition to our Meeting Point programme whereby artists uncover a new understanding of the past to inform the present.”
Acting Artistic Director at the RSC, Erica Whyman, continued: “Three Gold Threads is part of our 2023 season which centres on the theme of power: who holds it, who should, how does it change human beings, how might power shift and what could be transformed in our world as a result?
“400 years on from when the First Folio was published, it’s time we take a look at the plays within it in a new way and from new perspectives. Shakespeare himself was fascinated by how power is apportioned according to race, gender, class and birth right and I hope that this new work will help redress previous imbalances of power and democratise the stories we hold here, which belong to everybody.”
Liz Gre used workshops, interviews and storytelling to help a group of nine women share stories of the dramas, histories and tragedies in their own lives. The voices and stories are woven together, resulting in a new composition inspired by the First Folio and presenting its themes from the perspectives of the women.
Liz said: “I wanted to use the First Folio to highlight the stories of people living near the RSC now, from everyday occurrences through to monumental stories of making a life in a new place.
“I hope the women who have co-created this work with me feel seen and feel connected with the place they now live, and that what we’ve produced honours and protects their words.”
For more infromation on ثلاثة خيوط ذهبية (Three Gold Threads) visit www.rsc.org.uk