Richard III

Perng, Ching-hsi

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.


Ninagawa, Yukio 2003


Ninagawa’s Pericles opens with the sounds of an aerial bombardment and Ninagawa sets the play in a time after an unidentified war. This interpretation is refreshingly unconventional, since the play’s text does not explicitly include war. Early in Ninagawa’s career, he was a heavily political director of controversial new plays. Although he has moved to older material, Ninagawa still retains his desire to explore the themes of war, social unrest, and violent protests.



Li cha san shi (Richard III)

Lin, Zhaohua 2001

Richard III (2001) was directed by Lin Zhaohua and produced by the Lin Zhaohua Workshop, Central Experimental Spoken Drama Company and the Arts College, Sun Wen University. Lin used the Chinese translations of the play by ZHU Shenghao and LIANG Shiqiu. Read More

Kaliyattam (The Play of God)

Nair, Rajasekharan Jayaram 1997

Kaliyattam is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ seen through the local traditional theatrical dance form of Theyyam, in which the actor takes on a divine dimension – as soon as he wears his mask and his headgear. Read More

In Othello

Abel, Roysten 2003

A multicultural theater company in today’s New Delhi is staging a production of Shakespeare’s Othello. The director takes a bold step by casting an inexperienced small town actor as Othello. The new actor falls in love with the leading lady, who is also the director’s love-interest, and the two men become bitter rivals. Things become even more complicated as the actors’ theatrical personae start to seep into their lives outside the theater. Read More


Ong, Keng Sen 2001

In March 2000, Ong Keng Sen directed Desdemona in which – actors, musicians, designers, video/installation artists – from India, Korea, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Singapore worked together on-stage.  Desdemona premiered at the Adelaide Festival and then went on to the Munich Dance Festival and the Singapore and Hamburg Festivals. This production toured Japan in 2001.


Miyagi, Satoshi 2005 | 2 Comments

Cyprus was the setting. A waki (common man, here a Venetian pilgrim) is saddened to see the island under Turkish rule, with Venetian women enslaved by the conquerors. He meets the wandering shites (ghosts) of Desdemona and Othello. Heaven is shut to them. But narrating their experience to the waki cuts away their earthly shackles, sorrow and guilt. The detailing of their catastrophe becomes a community ritual leading to catharsis, repose and liberation. Read More


Ong, Keng Sen 2000

In March 2000, Ong Keng Sen directed Desdemona in which – actors, musicians, designers, video/installation artists – from India, Korea, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Singapore worked together on-stage.  Desdemona premiered at the Adelaide Festival and then went on to the Munich Dance Festival and the Singapore and Hamburg Festivals.


Perng, Ching-hsi

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.


Bharadwaj, Vishal 2006

In this adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Othello” set in India, half-caste bandit Omkara Shukla (Ajay Devgan) abducts his lady love, Dolly Mishra (Kareena Kapoor), from her family. Thanks to his cleverness, he gets away with the kidnapping. A conspiracy, however, forms against him when he denies his right-hand man, Langda Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan), a promotion. Ultimately, this plot threatens not only his relationship with Dolly, but their lives and those of their associates as well. Read More

Puck (Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Koike, Shuuichirou 1992

Puck is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream staged in 1992 by the Moon troupe with performances at the Grand Theater, 7/3 – 8/18 and the Tokyo Theater, 11/2 -11/27. The show was directed by Koike Shuuichirou. Read More

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ninagawa, Yukio 1996

Translation Yushi Odashima


Takuya Miyawaki as Cobweb
Tetsushi Tanaka as Demetrius
Kazuhisa Seshimo as Egeus
Hansuo Yamaya as Francis Flute
Hiroko Yamashita as Helena
Miho Tsumiki as Hermia
Kayoko Shiraishi as Hippolyta/Titania
Keita Oishi as Lysander
Kazunori Aso as Moth
Masahiro Kazama as Mustardseed
Goro Daimon as Nick Bottom
Eiichi Seike and Kaoru Ota as Other Faries
Shiro Horikawa as Peaseblossom
Kenichi Ishii as Peter Quince
Yoji Matsuda as Philostrate
Yogi Matsuda as Puck
Ofuji as Snug
Tetsuro Sagawa as Theseus/Oberon
Masafumi Seno as Tom Snout



A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Yang, Shipeng (Daniel) 2000

This production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was directed by Daniel Wang in 2000 and performed by the Hong Kong Huaju Company. Read More

Maqbool (Macbeth)

Bharadwaj, Vishal 2003

Maqbool is based on William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, with the Mumbai underworld as its backdrop. Maqbool (Irrfan Khan) is the right-hand man of Jahangir Khan (alias Abba Ji) (Pankaj Kapoor), a powerful underworld don. Maqbool is grateful and feels a close connection and personal indebtedness to Abba Ji. Seeing their close relationship, but also sensing Maqbool’s ambition, two corrupt policemen (Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah) predict that Maqbool will soon take over the reins of the Mumbai Underworld from Abba Ji. Read More


Perng, Ching-hsi

Part of the Shashibiya Mingju Donghua (Animated Shakespeare) series.

Ma ke bo si

Li, Zibo; Xu, Xiaozhong 1980

In the 1980 Macbeth, Xu Xiaozhong, another 1950s Moscow-trained director, drew a parallel between the socialist new China and the Renaissance idealized by Engels. Xu’s vision of Macbeth was as “a giant” who “wanders, stumbles and eventually drowns in … whirlpools of blood.” [Note 9] The “giant” image derived from Engels, and the image of “stumbling” came from Marx’s description of Louis Napoleon. [Note 10] Xu followed Shakespeare in showing that Macbeth “is destroyed by his own individual ambition.” Xu’s interpretation emphasized, however, that Macbeth had the potential to become a revered national hero. Yet Macbeth, in addition to ruining himself, ruined his country: “Macbeth is also a tragedy of the people. Shakespeare reveals that a careerist and tyrant like Macbeth can bring disaster to his ancestral land and its people” (Xu Xiaozhong 1996, 243). Citing Marx and Soviet Shakespeareans, Xu declared: “Shakespeare not only wrote a tragedy about an individual, it was more a tragedy of history at a turning point” (1996, 240).

In China, theatre is expected to propagandize the government’s policies, and there were suggestions that Xu’s production represented an attack on the “Gang of Four” whose trial was then in progress. Although this would have been politically astute, Xu rejected such “high praise.” Xu had a strong social consciousness and wanted to deal with the serious questions facing China. As a sincere believer in Marx and Engels’s writings on realism, he would not simply echo current Party propaganda. Nor, however, was he content with Kott’s idea of “Shakespeare our contemporary,” since Xu accepted Marx’s view that dramatic characters should not be reduced to “mere mouthpieces of the spirit of the times.” Nonetheless, striking parallels emerged through Xu’s staging between Macbeth and the leaders, not excluding Mao himself, whose hubris had been responsible for so many disasters in China.



Chandradasan 2002

An eco political performance based on the play by William Shakespeare for Lokadharmi, 2002. Read More

Kingdom of Desire

Wu, Hsing-kuo 1986 | One Comment

During the Eastern Chou Dynasty of the Warring State when feudalism was at its peak. The nation of Chi fell prey to the greed and ambitions of the Lord Chancellor, Wei Lie-Bo. East City Defender, Au-Shu, and his deputy, Meng, were called upon to settle the disputes. Read More

Makebai furen (Lady Macbeth)

Cao, Ping 2001

Makebai furen (Lady Macbeth) is an adaptation of Macbeth from Taiwan. The 2001 production featured Tian Mansha as Lady Macbeth and actors from the Sichuan Youth Chuanju Opera Company and was directed by Cao Ping. Read More


Estrella, Josefina 1999

Makbet is Filipino adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in a Cordilleran village.



Lady Macbeth

Han, Tae-sook 1999

Lady Macbeth is an experimental theatre adaptation of Macbeth designed by Lee Kwang-sup and directed by Han Tae-sook. The production was performed by the Theatre Company Mooli at the Jayu Theatre of the Seoul Art Center October 2-15, 1999. It first premiered in 1998 and was reproduced in 1999, 2000, and 2008.

The story is presented through a process in which a doctor uses hypnosis to treat Lady Macbeth, who is suffering from delusion, hysteria and somnambulism, showing us the inner world of Lady Macbeth through her subconsciousness. Read More

Metal Macbeth

Inoue, Hidenori 2006

“A metal band in the 80’s and a Mad Max-like near future intermingle in an eye-opening “New Macbeth”! In the year 2206, after innumerable slayings and destructions, a heath littered with dead bodies and rubble was left. Three eerie witches manifest themselves in front of an invincible General Randomstar that ESP Kingdom is proud of. They leave a prophecy saying, “All of your future is scripted in this compact disc”. It was a CD made by a heavy metal band named “Metal Macbeth” whose prime was in the 80s”. Read More


Ninagawa, Yukio 1985

Yukio Ninagawa’s iconic production of Macbeth in the Netherlands and U.K. in 1985 (premiered in Tokyo in 1980) Read More

Noh Macbeth

Izumi, Noriko 2006

The noh Macbeth production was created by professional Noh actors, to be performed for people who already understand the Noh conventions. It was not an experimental fusion theatre targeting Shakespeare scholars who are unfamiliar with Japanese classics. Not all Japanese people can read the Noh scripts either.

Kathakali King Lear

Leday, Annette 1999

Kathakali King Lear premiered in 1989 and toured internationally through 1999. At the annual Globe to Globe Festival in 1999, the production was staged at the Globe Theatre in London and performed by the Annette Leday/Keli Company. Dancer, choreographer, and director Annette Leday played Cordelia. David McRuvie adapted Shakespeare’s King Lear text while K. Marumakan Raja translated it into Malayalam. Read More

King Qi’s Dream

Ou, Yangming 1995

King Qi’s Dream is an adaptation of King Lear performed in the Beijing Opera style and directed by Ou Yangming. In an ancient Kingdom there lives an old king. One day announce a big decision to divide his kingdom into three parts for his three daughters to govern. His two elder daughters agree with their father and so they obtained their land. But his youngest daughter gets no land for she opposes his idea. Years later the two elder daughters drives their father out, making him wander in the wild. His loyal subjects, Kun Fu and Xue Ying (his youngest daughter), saves his life. He wants to take back his power and kingdom but it is too late for one of his officials has taken over the power to rule the kingdom. Read More

Li’er zaici (Lear is Here)

Wu, Hsing-kuo 2001 | 2 Comments

In 2001, Wu Hsing-kuo, the artistic director of the Contemporary Legend Theatre (CLT, Taipei), returned to the stage after disbanding his company two years earlier. His solo performance of King Lear reflects his own personal struggle to rediscover his own identity as an actor and to define the mission of the CLT in the 21st century. Read More


Kurosawa, Akira 1985

Ran (乱, transl. “chaos” or “turmoil”) is a 1985 epic war drama film directed, edited and co-written by Akira Kurosawa. The plot derives from William Shakespeare’s King Lear and includes segments based on legends of the daimyō Mōri Motonari. The film stars Tatsuya Nakadai as Hidetora Ichimonji, an aging Sengoku-period warlord who decides to abdicate as ruler in favor of his three sons. Read More

Maze, Spectacle, and Music: King Lear

Fu, Hongzheng 2003

A creative interpretation of Shakespeare’s King Lear through percussion music, drumming, and dance. The production is also known as “Drumming with Lear.” The performance emphasized physical expressions of strong emotions. Read More

Lear’s Daughters

Tse, David 2003 | One Comment

What happened to the three daughters of King Lear before they made their entrances in Shakespeare’s classic? Yellow Earth Theatre presents this seminal work exploring the formative years in three young women’s lives. Read More

King Lear

Tse, David 2006 | 4 Comments

Lear hands over control of his global business empire to his daughters. In his Shanghai penthouse, he asks them to justify their inheritance. The older sisters flatter their father in elegant Chinese but English educated Cordelia, no longer fluent in her father’s tongue, says “Nothing” and the loss of face sends Lear into a spiral of fury and madness. Read More


Ong, Keng Sen 1997 | One Comment

Ong Keng Sen’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s King Lear brings artists from Japan, Thailand, China and Indonesia to work together on this intercultural and collaborative piece that toured Asia & Europe. Read More

King Uru

Kim, Myung-kon 2001

King Uru directed by Kim Myung-kon in 2001 and performed at the National Theatre of Korea is an adaptation of King Lear which draws on Korean folk culture. Read More

Akatsuki no rooma (Rome at Dawn)

Kimura, Shinji 2006

Akatsuki no rooma (Rome at Dawn) is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar staged in 2006 by the Takarazuka Revue Moon Troupe with performances at the Takarazuka Grand Theater, 5/12 – 6/19 and the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater, 7/7 – 8/20. The show was directed by Kimura Shinji. Read More

Heng li si shi

Huang, Wushan 2002

Heng li si shi was a local Puppet-play theatre production in which Shakespeare was adapted to address Kuomantang (KMT) political suppression of local Taiwanese cultures. Read More

Rock Hamlet

Jeon, Hoon 1999

The Seoul Musical Company, directed by Jeon Hoon, performed Rock Hamlet at Ho-am Art Hall 11 November -12 December 1999. Read More

Hamlet Cantabile

Bae, Yo-sup 2007

Hamlet Cantabile was directed by Yo-sup Bae and performed by the Tuida Theater Company at the National Theater of Korea in Seoul on 18 May 2007. Five clowns meet the ghost of dead Hamlet at his grave and hear his sad story. After that, they perform his story with puppets and musical instruments. Read More

Shamuleite (Shamlet)

Lee, Kuo-hsiu 1996

Shamlet was performed by the Ping Fong Acting Troupe and directed by LEE  Kuo-hsiu (1955-2013) who also wrote the script. Read More