William Shakespeare's play Hamlet is scheduled to arrive at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, in Wan Chai, on Friday, as part of a two-year-tour by the London-based Globe Theatre that will see the troupe take the play to every country on Earth to celebrate 450 years since the birth of the English poet, playwright and actor. Scholars have identified 20,000 pieces of music linked to Shakespeare's works, including two operas by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi …

Whether Verdi was born on October 9 or 10, in 1813, no one can be sure, so bicentennial celebrations of his birth two years ago were spread across several days, as well as continents; in the United States, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performed Requiem Mass, at the city's Symphony Centre, while in Singapore, the Esplanade Theatre hosted the Verdi Gala Concert. At last year's Grammy Awards, one attendee wore a Valentino dress embroidered with the score of Dell'invito trascorsa e gia l'ora from the start of Verdi's opera La traviata. That was, of course, Katy Perry …

The singer, songwriter and actress, who studied Italian opera at the Music Academy of the West, in Santa Barbara, before hitting the big time, revealed in the July 2013 issue of American Vogue that her 14-month marriage to British lothario Russell Brand had ended on an impersonal note: "Let's just say I haven't heard from him since he texted me saying he was divorcing me on December 31, 2011." That year, Perry criticised a candidate in the Australian general election for his opposition to same-sex marriage. "I love you as a human being but I can't give you my vote," the American citizen who has no voting rights in Australia told Tony Abbott …

Without Perry's backing, Abbott became the 28th (and current) prime minister of Australia. Born in London in 1957, his family moved to Australia in 1960 through the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme - part of the "populate or perish" policy after the second world war. Aged 26, Abbott - perhaps, influenced by nominative determinism - decided to join the priesthood and entered a seminary in Sydney, but left three years later. A controversial politician, last month Abbott was called a climate change "villain" by author and activist Naomi Klein …

Born in Quebec, Canada, Klein's mother, Bonnie Sherr Klein, was a documentary maker whose best known work is an anti-pornography film called Not a Love Story; her father was a physician. Klein, 45, is best known for the books No Logo and The Shock Doctrine. The latter was made into a short film of the same name and released on YouTube. It was produced and co-written by Mexican film director Alfonso Cuarón ...

The Mexico City-born director hit the big time in 2004 directing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - despite having not read any of the Harry Potter books when he was asked to direct the third film in the series. It was Cuarón's idea to have a Hogwarts Choir singing the Double, Double Toil and Trouble passage from the play Macbeth as the students enter the school. The lyrics, of course, were written by the British scribe William Shakespeare.