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.