14 Aug 2009

Shakespearean sonnet to be performed in Te Reo

10:09 pm on 14 August 2009

A Shakespearean sonnet is to be performed in Maori at the Globe Theatre in London.

William Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, which starts "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day", has been translated into Te Reo, and inscribed on soft flax paper as a gift for the theatre.

New Zealand actor Rawiri Paratene will perform the Maori translation on Wednesday as one of the events marking the Globe's celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare's sonnets.

The Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand has worked with the Maori Language Commission to make the event possible.

The commission's Te Haumihiata Mason translated the sonnet for the event, using classical Maori.

Ms Mason says she researched ancient love poems that used metaphor and simile in the same way as the Bard.

"Maori poetry is no different - it like to paint pictures in one's mind. It is full of metaphor, simile and classical Maori is just full of beautiful descriptive language."

Rawiri Paratene is currently performing in the Globe's production of Romeo and Juliet.