'Presenting Shakespeare' is a collection of 1100 poster ads of stagings
It’s been almost exactly 400 years ago that the world’s undoubtedly biggest playwright, William Shakespeare died. Still, his works are very much with us in all kind of forms, not just necessarily on the stage or in print. Just when you’d think that the whole Shakespeare-universe has been covered in all imaginable forms from academic research papers to plastic souvenir figurines, here comes yet another, unprecedented publication relating to the writer. Graphic artists and experts of the field Mirko Ilics and Steven Heller set out to collect posters advertising stage productions of all plays from all around the globe. Over 1000 designs made through and were selected to be featured in the book Presenting Shakespeare.
The edition organises posters along plays, featuring the whole spectrum of Shakespeare’s oeuvre, each chapter beginning with an introductory essay to provide an insight into the key elements of the dramas. Since theatrical plays have a strong symbolic layer, one would expect posters to operate with the same iconography independent of the geographical location or production age.
Which might be true, looking at the vast number of skulls appearing for Hamlet posters, for example. However, the editors’ clear intention was to draw attention to the diversity of graphic art inspired by Shakespeare, and to prove that the visual interpretation depends on more factors than the text. The 1100 posters collected from 56 countries present completely unique and diverse readings of the eternal plays.
Source: Creative Review
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