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LONDON (Reuters) - Shakespeare's Globe Theatre will perform "Hamlet" in every country in the world to introduce the Bard in English to audiences in some of the world's most remote locations, the theatre announced on Tuesday.
The tour will start in the Globe Theatre in London on April 23 next year to celebrate Shakespeare's 450th birthday and the final performance will also take place, again at the Globe, on April 23, 2016, the 400th anniversary of his death.
The number of countries in the world is disputed, with 196 being most commonly cited, while the Globe says its aims to perform in around 200 states and territories.
Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole said a cast of 12 would start "with a mad rampage" in Europe then head to North America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Middle East, performing on beaches, in palaces and other unique locations.
The team, which will be rotated every two months, will travel by boat, train, jeep, ship and bus to minimize plane travel and performances will be held on a stripped-down booth stage.
"We know that there's an appetite for Shakespeare out there and there's a fascination with Shakespeare," Dromgoole told Reuters as he prepared to take "an international icon" to some of the most inaccessible places in the world.
It is not the first time the Globe has brought Shakespeare to an international audience. During a six-week festival last year, it showed 37 Shakespearean works in 37 different languages to 110,000 people.
This time the play will only be performed in English but with captions.
"The spirit of touring, and of communicating stories to fresh ears, was always central to Shakespeare's work. We couldn't be happier to be extending that mission even further," Dromgoole said in a statement.
Shakespeare's well known tragedy "Hamlet" was first performed around 1600 and is a vivid portrayal of madness and the darkest elements of the human psyche.
Shakespeare's Globe theatre was originally built in London in 1599 but burnt down in 1613. The theatre was rebuilt near to the original site on the banks of the River Thames and reopened in 1997.
($1 = 0.6621 British pounds)
Reporting by Dasha Afanasieva; Editing by Michael Roddy