michaelgriffith (michaelgriffith) wrote,

Hamlet at the Ensemble

This was a magnificent, powerful production at the Ensemble with this year's third year students.

This production brought lines of Shakespeare to life with wonderfully creative interpretations using gesture and many exaggerated movements of character. I noticed in the programme that the director (and performer of Hamlet) Mark Kilmurry has published "A Hamlet Diary" (Currency Press) in which he explains the process that lay behind this particular production. I repeatedly find this play moving and relevant to modern experience. Its poetry is also breathtaking and doesn't cease to stir my emotions. One of the wonderful features of this production is that it brings so much meaning to lines of text that often stay stuck on the page. I am not sure however whether the largely elderly audience would have appreciated the at times savagely explicit sexual motifs. Shakespeare would, I am sure, have loved this aspect of the production. I was also stoked by the extent to which the play followed a Shakesperian dramatic approach in its interaction with the audience -especially in the Grave Digger's scene. Actors invading the audience space and making demands of those sitting close to the stage is the way I remember seeing Shakespeare performed at the Globe Theatre in London- yes I was alive in 1605!
Here are some shots of the afficionadoes who attended the performance. Here are Jen and Janine reviving themeselves between acts.... it was a hectic performance!

For me one of the most powerful components of the play was the dramatic realization of the Ghost (played by the same actor who played the usurping King- his brother). The impact that this scene had on Hamlet was astonishing. It made all the more mysterious the reasons why Hamlet was unable to revenge his father sooner than he did.
And here are Danielle and Sonya- so glad she made it!

I coudn't snapshot everyone ... sorry... but here are a few other live pre-Hamlet shots.....
Jordan and Steve

Jen and Gabbrielle

The Shakespearean Trio

BTW: there is a fabulous John Coburn painting in the foyer... don't miss it.

And check out this John Coburn site before you go- the painting will then mean a whole lot more to you:

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