Shakespeare is a phenomenon, like the sun and the moon. All attempts to pin him down in any way are childish and stupid – his plays can speak directly to people of every race and every level, at every moment of world history. But how? The 36-odd plays can be brought out in academic, repetitive or even childish ways. To bring any play, any role, any line, any word of Shakespeare is an ever-changing, ever-challenging task. We need the help of knowing what others are attempting. For this reason, the Shakespeare festival is vital.