In this article published by the British Library it is claimed that

Every year, there are more performances of Shakespeare’s plays in Germany than there are in England.

Without any evidence, this strikes me a suspicious claim. It might very well be true, but it sounds like one of those "facts" that simply get repeated without anyone checking it. For example the article itself repeats the claim only with the suspicious filler phrase of "it is said". Hence my question: is there any evidence for this claim, and maybe more broadly, how would we even estimate the number of Shakespeare plays that are being performed in a given country?

Note that this claim is also made in newspapers such as in the Guardian here.

There are now more productions of Shakespeare's plays in Germany every year than in England.

  • My German literature professor told my class that he had gone to many German theaters during his PhD in the 70s and nearly always found them to be performing Shakespeare. Apr 20, 2018 at 21:49
  • 1
    The Guardian article does not have a source and I know of no databases tracking performances, so I am dubious. Also worth considering is what they mean by "performances." Is it profesdional only? Amateur? Colleges? High schools? Do adaptations of Shakespeare's play count?
    – rougon
    Apr 21, 2018 at 3:11
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    In 2016 the United Kingdom had an estimated population of 65,648,100, and Germany had an estimated 2017 population of 82,000,000, 1.249 times as large. England proper had an estimated population of 55,268,100 in 2016, giving Germany 1.483 times England's population. Going by population, if Shakespeare is as popular in Germany as in England, there will be more Shakespearean performances in Germany. Apr 22, 2018 at 18:09


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