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Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew as you’ve never seen it before

Posted by Jonaid Jilani Press Officer

15th May 2012

As part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Theatre Walley, in partnership with Kashf Foundation, present an Urdu production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrewin Oxford. Oxfam is proud to announce its support for this ground-breaking performance which has been to brought to Oxford through the work of a very dedicated committee of local people, helped by the North Wall Arts Centre whose mission is to enable top quality international artists and companies to present their work to local audiences. 

The Urdu version of The Taming of the Shrewis Pakistan's contribution to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre's presentation of all of Shakespeare's 37 plays in as many languages from around the world.  Set in current day Lahore (a centre of learning comparable to Shakespeare's Padua) the play will star leading Pakistani stage and TV actors such as Nadia Jamil, Salman Shahid and Omair Rana, as well as a host of other upcoming talent. Not only will it be a dazzling performance showcasing Pakistani singers, dancers and musicians, but it will also explore the serious theme of an educated woman's place in a patriarchal society. 

For the Urdu and Hindi speaking communities of Oxford, The Taming of the Shrewwill provide a unique opportunity for high quality entertainment that puts an Asian spin on a much loved and revered English classic. 

The play will be on in Oxford from 20 May to 22 May 2012. There is a special preview of the show on 20 May at the Asian Cultural Centre and two fully staged performances on 21 and 22 May at the North Wall Arts Centre in Summertown. 

These will be followed by performances in: 

London on 25 and 26 May at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. 
Rotherham, South Yorkshire, on 29 May at the Old Market Gallery.   
Bradford on 30 May at Kala Sangam. 
Rotherham on 31 May at the Clifton Park Walled Courtyard.


The Taming of the Shrew is part of a Shakespeare mini season in Oxford that began on 7 May with  Richard II in Arabic by Ashtar Theatre and Creation Theatre and will end with a production of The Comedy or Errors in Dari Persian by the Afghan theatre company Roy-e-Sabz on 6 June at the Sheldonian Theatre. 

"The Urdu version of 'The Taming of the Shrew' promises to be a high-octane production with plenty of song, dance and live music," said Moni Mohsin, novelist. 

Barbara Stocking, CEO of Oxfam said, "Oxfam is delighted to support this great opportunity to showcase the talents of Theatre Walley and the beauty of the Urdu language, Punjabi music and costume in Oxford. Oxfam celebrates 70 years of working with others to end poverty and injustice around the world this autumn and it is a pleasure to be part of this inspiring and diverse cultural celebration here in our home city." 

As well as a unique performance there will be an opportunity for Oxfam to highlight some of the work that is being done in Pakistan. 

"Oxfam has a long history in Pakistan and has recently been working to help people who have become displaced in Khyber Agency in northwest Pakistan due to the security situation. We have also helped those affected by the recent floods of 2010 and 2011. There are still millions of people in need of food, water, sanitation and healthcare as a result of last years flood and the worry is that, with the upcoming monsoon, people already affected could be facing another disaster," said Barbara Stocking. 


For more information please contact Jonaid Jilani on T: +44 (0)18 65 472193 or M: +44 (0)7810 181514 or

Theatre Walley, run by Navid Shahzad, has a record of presenting thought-provoking productions, as well as donating ticket revenue to charitable causes.   

KASHF Foundation is one of Pakistan's leading non-profit organizations; it has been internationally recognized for its work in women's economic empowerment through the provision of microfinance services to female entrepreneurs.  Kashf Foundation uses theatre as a tool for promoting social awareness among low-income communities; over the past 20 years it has established 30 independent theatre groups across the country for this purpose. 

The North Wall: A professional producing and receiving venue, the North Wall is known for its excellent and distinctive mix of performance work from some of the best contemporary companies around, and for developing a range of vocational and educational arts programmes of the highest quality. The venue takes pride in enabling top quality international artists and companies to present work that is often ground-breaking, specifically to audiences in and around Oxford. 

Oxfam: Oxfam is a global humanitarian, development and campaigning organisation working with others to overcome poverty and suffering. Since its Oxford-based beginnings in 1942, it has grown into a worldwide force. Oxfam is now working in nearly 60 countries on a diverse range of projects, from providing emergency water sources to supporting community health projects. 

Oxfam has one million supporters in the UK. For every £1 donated to its general funds, 83p is spent on emergency, development and campaigning work, 10p is spent on support and governance and 7p is invested to generate future income.

Oxfam has more than 700 high street shops across the UK selling donated fashion, books, music, homewares and new ethical products. It is supported by a workforce of 22,000 volunteers. Oxfam also launched the UK's first online charity shop in 2007. 

Oxfam has been working in Pakistan since 1973. We support local partners and work with government authorities to improve the livelihoods of those living in poverty, and provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by disasters and conflict.

We focus on ensuring poor women have access to land and economic opportunity; ending violence against women; ensuring all girls have the right to a quality education; increasing resilience to disasters and climate change; and improving access to effective humanitarian assistance during emergencies.

Oxfam GB is affiliated to Oxfam International, a global confederation of 15 independent Oxfams which share the same purpose. Visit 

Shakespeare's Globe: Since the Globe theatre reconstruction opened for performances in 1997, Shakespeare's Globe has welcomed visitors from all over the world to take part in workshops, lectures and staged readings; to visit the exhibition and tour the Globe theatre, and to watch productions, ranging from original practices to world premières of new writing and the first play by a woman ever to be performed here. 

Globe to Globe - For the first time, 37 international companies present all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in 37 different languages in a kaleidoscopic, six week festival at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London, starting on Shakespeare's birthday. 

About Shakespeare's Globe

Founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare's Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of performance and education. Together, the Globe Theatre, Globe Exhibition and Tour and Globe Education seek to further the experience and international understanding of Shakespeare in performance.

The World Shakespeare Festival is a celebration of Shakespeare as the world's playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, in an unprecedented collaboration with leading UK and international arts organisations, and with Globe to Globe, a major international programme produced by Shakespeare's Globe.  It runs from 23 April to November 2012 and forms part of London 2012 Festival, which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, bringing leading artists from all over the world together in a UK-wide festival in the summer of 2012.  

The World Shakespeare Festival and Globe to Globe is funded by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor.
About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements.  Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people. 

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in this UK-wide festival - a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation.

Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor.  BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.
Creation Theatre Company:

16 years, 45 shows, 350,000 audience members aged 5-95…we are Creation Theatre Company. We want to share stories with you. Amazing, inspiring, memorable stories which change the way we look at the world. We love folk tales, fairytales, classics and, of course, Shakespeare. You don't need a theatre building to make great theatre. The magic happens all over Oxford. 

We seek out places that have never been used for theatre before, and bring them to life. Our shows are beautiful, ugly, fast, furious, twisted, surprising, spooky, magical, daring, haunting, challenging, inspiring, hilarious, sexy, sassy, cheeky…but never predictable. Our drama training and workshops for the young are shaping the next theatre generation.

Blog post written by Jonaid Jilani

Press Officer

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