The British Council in partnership with Dhaka Theatre has filmed the theatre “A Different Romeo and Juliet” which was performed by the Bangladeshi casting with the disability. The theatre was the outcome of a three-year project by the British Council in partnership with GRAEAE Theatre UK and Dhaka Theatre in Bangladesh to mark the 400th death anniversary of William Shakespeare.
This ambitious project had to go through a screening of more than 170 people with disability to finalize the casting of 16 artists representing different social backgrounds in Bangladesh. The participants came from Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP-Bangladesh), Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), and Bangladesh Reform Initiatives for Development, Governance and Empowerment (BRIDGE) and Gram Theatre. The theatre piece was directed by Jenny Sealey who was the artistic director of London Paralympic 2012 opening ceremony and produced by prominent stage and film Director Nasiruddin Yousuff Bachchu from Dhaka Theatre.
As United Kingdom’s leading cultural organization, the British Council has been actively using arts as a tool to develop understanding between different cultural contexts. “A Different Romeo and Juliet” is a unique theatre production that showcases how arts can be used as both an enabler and driver of sustainable development by engaging underprivileged communities like the disability sector effectively in shaping their own outcomes and supporting open, transparent and stable societies.
The British Council is going to take the filmed version of the “A Different Romeo and Juliet” theatre to six divisional districts in Bangladesh to use this cultural approaches as an effective way to highlight the importance of empowering diverse groups to participate in cross-cultural dialogue, creative and collective problem-solving, and capacity building in the spirit of “Leave no one behind” and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals throughout the country. National Public Library has partnered with the British Council by offering their spaces to host these screenings.