Contemporary culture is obsessed with the past. And contemporary performance is obsessed with Shakespeare. Why does Shakespeare so often perform the nostalgic role of reviving a better past for modern audiences? And what do radical rewritings of Shakespeare's plays say both to and about their audiences? This is an inquiry into how Shakespeare is reproduced today. It looks at the enduring influence he has on present-day performance, and questions how inter-cultural and cross-cultural productions reconfigure him for "alternative" performances. An attempt is made to speak across many divides - from literature to theatre, from theory to practice.