Staging Shakespearean dissent

Plays that protest, provoke and slip by the censors

This year brings the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and Index on Censorship is marking it with a special issue of our award-winning magazine, looking at how his plays have been used around the world to sneak past censors or take on the authorities – often without them realising. Our special report explores how different countries use different plays to tackle difficult themes.


How Shakespeare’s plays smuggle in protest

Theatre, in whatever form it takes, tells us something about society. Sometimes the stories are uncomfortable, but they need to be explored. Telling stories that challenge societal realities requires performers to negotiate their way around obstacles. In authoritarian countries performing works of “established” or “historic” playwrights can give actors the chance to tackle significant themes that would otherwise never be allowed.

4 April 2016

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