Home‎ > ‎News & Events‎ > ‎

Students see international production of Hamlet

posted 2 Jun 2015, 18:26 by OC Web   [ updated 2 Jun 2015, 18:29 ]
On 2 June a group of 40 senior English students experienced Shakespeare at its best. They attended the Globe to Globe world tour of Hamlet, directed by Dominic Dromgoole. This production, from the Globe Theatre in London, is travelling for two years, taking Hamlet to every country in the world.

Curriculum Leader of English, Jess Wilson, said the timing was particularly fortuitous, as her Year 13 students are currently studying Hamlet and about to write a research essay on the play. “The opportunity to see a professional cast from the London Globe perform the play in Wellington was unique, and we were delighted so many students were able to go.” She commented that seeing a stage performance will have deepened students’ understanding that they are studying a play, not a novel, and that it is open to many interpretations. “I’m hoping that the performance will have raised as many questions for the students as it answered, to spark their engagement in the research.”

The Globe to Globe tour began on 23 April 2014, the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birthday, and will end on Shakespeare’s birthday in 2016. So far the show has been performed in places as diverse as Tunisia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Madrid, Moscow, Guatemala and Argentina. The show’s international cast of 16 includes New Zealand’s own Rāwiri Paratene, who last night did a superb job in the role of King Claudius, as well as doubling as the Ghost and the Player King.

According to Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe and Director of Hamlet: “Globe to Globe Hamlet was created with the aim of performing Hamlet to as many people as possible, in as diverse a range of places as possible. The central principle of the tour is that Shakespeare can entertain and speak to anyone, no matter where they are on earth; and that no country or people are not better off for the lively presence of Hamlet.”

When Shakespeare’s Globe asked well-known director Peter Brook what he thought about them touring Hamlet around the world, he replied: “The six simplest words in the English language are "to be or not to be". There is hardly a corner of the planet where these words have not been translated. Even in English, those who can’t speak the language will at once recognise the sound and exclaim ‘Shakespeare!’ Hamlet is the most all-encompassing of Shakespeare’s plays. Everyone, young or old, can today find an immediate identification with its characters, their pains and their interrogations. To take Hamlet in its original language around the world is a bold and dynamic project. It can bring a rich journey of discovery to new audiences everywhere.”

You can find out more about the Globe to Globe Hamlet project here: http://globetoglobe.shakespearesglobe.com/ The website has a map of the tour journey, videos of audience comments and response, question and answers with the cast, and you can also follow the tour on twitter and tumblr.