World Sonnet Project

A world first – to collect filmed recordings of all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, each in a different language.

Collected Sonnet projects aren’t new, and we acknowledge our debt to those who are developing or have made full recorded collections. The concept of different languages is inspired by our colleagues at the Shakespeare Festival in Craiova who seeded the idea in 2020 and of course to the Globe to Globe project from 2012.

Through this celebration of Shakespeare and Language we want to explore how Shakespeare can be a force for unity and coming together, and at the same time to remember the beauty and diversity of languages around the world and to relish their power of expression.

Our aspiration is that by looking outside our regular partners and colleagues, we will make and build new relationships with Companies, Artists and Shakespeareans right around the world, and that from these contacts, new presentational and collaborative opportunities will develop for future festivals. We’ve learnt from our enforced lockdowns that building relationships is the best way to maintain our energy and creativity.

This project is being launched during the 2021 festival as one of the unique online creations that we are able to begin during the pandemic. It’s an ongoing project, and we’ll add further recordings as we receive them. There are lots of ways in which you can help, from contributing a sonnet in your language or dialect, to helping the YISF team to find and build partnerships with potential readers and language associations. We’re always open to offers of sonnets in new languages – just get in touch.

The Sonnets

We are enormously grateful to everyone who has contributed a sonnet so far and shared their language with us. The imaginative range of films is a delight and we know you will enjoy them.

Click on the links below to watch the sonnets and learn about the readers who have performed them for us.

Sonnets 1-30

Sonnets 31-60

Sonnets 61-90

Sonnets 91 – 120

Sonnets 121-154

The World Sonnet Project is curated by Philip Parr and Skylar Mabry