Did you know Shakespeare’s Hamlet has been touring the world for 18 months now? Hamlet? Worldwide tour? Did I miss that? Maybe you did, because you probably won’t find this production playing next door to The Lion King.
The Globe Theatre’s ambitious performance project to tour the Shakespearean tragedy that brought us those universal lines “To be or not to be…” has only six months left to tour. Aiming to visit nearly every country on Earth, the show recently ran into a snag when Syria refused entry. So, as The Guardian and The Arts Desk report, they performed near the Syria-Jordan border at a Jordanian refugee camp in Zaatari to an entirely Syrian audience instead. Problem solved.
This production of Hamlet brings new meaning to the phrase “All the world’s a stage”. After it has concluded on 23 April 2016 on the 450th anniversary of The Bard’s birth (and 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death), it will have played to audiences in 196 countries. I can’t imagine the logistical nightmares and political hurdles a global tour such as this must have caused just to get it off the ground, but it has some heavy backing. UNESCO granted the tour patronage due to its “engagement with local communities and its promotion of cultural education”.
Artistic direct Dominic Dromgoole says of the show:
‘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.’
Local readers of The Drama Teacher may recall this production of Hamlet was performed at the Geelong Performing Arts Centre, Victoria, for its Australian show back in May this year. If you missed, it, here’s some pics.
Where in the world is Shakespeare’s Hamlet today? Where has it performed already? Why not find out.
And just to whet your appetite further, here’s some pics of the world tour after a year on the road.