“The play’s the thing”

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Back in April I posted a blog about a talented group of Italian students who devised their own take on ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – see http://bloggingshakespeare.com/i-talk-of-dreams

During their stay in Stratford the students told me about their plan to tackle ‘Hamlet’ as their next theatrical venture.  I showed them some photos of past productions, and talked with them about some of the choices that they would have to make when moving the play from the page to the stage. To see some of the images we were looking at visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/hamlet/past_productions/rsc_stage_1989.shtml

I have just heard from Gabriele Allegro who is taking on the role of Hamlet for this production – Gabriele is graudating from Shakespeare’ s Romeo to his ‘sweet prince’ – and he is pictured on the poster above.  He told me that the group has really enjoyed working with the play, and that the students have been struck by the way in which Hamlet’s questions, and existential ‘issues’ speak clearly to them as young people getting ready to leave college and begin new lives. I first saw ‘Hamlet’ on stage when I was about 16, and was blown away by it, so I wasn’t surprised to hear that it has left a lasting impression upon these students too.

I’m going to take this opportunity to wish the whole cast in Ivrea the greatest of success with their production, which opens next week.  I hope that you all enjoy bringing Shakespeare’s play to life, and that you take a lot from the experience for yourselves. “Speak the speech” – as Hamlet would say – “the play’s the thing” that will be with you forever.

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Author:Nick Walton

Nick Walton is a Lecturer in Shakespeare Studies at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
  • Nick Walton

    Thanks Patrizia – it all sounds very exciting, and I imagine you’ll be having some pretty busy rehearsals this week.  It’s a good job you have such an energetic and informed cast!  Good luck with the show, and I’ll look forward to hearing more anon.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Patrizia – it all sounds very exciting, and I imagine that you’ll be having some pretty busy rehearsals this week. It’s a good job you have such an energetic and informed cast! Good luck with the show, and I’ll look forward to hearing more anon.  

  • Patrizia

    Dear Nick, This is Patrizia. Well in America they would say ” you’ve come a long way baby!” This is how we feel. Needless to say to be in Embracing Shakespeare throughout the world is great honor for us! We feel flattered and certainly we have been inspired by Stratford and your lectures. I have found a group of students who deal with time consuming academic programs and yet their passion for theater brought us all together to undertake the Hamlet adventure. Teaching is my standard profession. I don’t think I could reach the results I have reached with those students, from a language and cultural point of view if we did not share our love for Shakespeare. Those students pronounce, present, show, dramatize Shakespeare’s words second to nature (as if they were actually reading Italian). Big Return on Investment our Love for Will. Our getting to know Stratford. Soon I will send pictures and video clips of the show : I have A wonderful Horatio (Stefano Zordan) a captivating magnetic Laertes (Joris De Tomasi) and superb Hamlet (your friend Gabriel). Thanks for your wonderful page on us. You are always welcome anytime. 

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