HAMLET Globe to Globe
01/06/2015 - 02/06/2015
03/06/2015 - 05/06/2015
SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE PRODUCTION ON ITS WAY TO NEW ZEALAND
In June 2015 New Zealand Festival and Auckland Theatre Company will present London’s Shakespeare’s Globe’s ‘Globe to Globe’ touring production of Hamlet. The show, created at one of the world’s most iconic theatres, is currently travelling across the seven continents with the aim of bringing Hamlet to every country on earth.
For New Zealand audiences, this unprecedented theatrical visit is even more significant as the show stars one of Aotearoa’s most highly regarded actors, Rawiri Paratene ONZM (Whale Rider, The Māori Troilus and Cressida).
Directed by Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe, and Bill Buckhurst, the Globe to Globe tour of Hamlet opened at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre on 23 April 2014, the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. The production is a fresh, pared-down version of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy of deferred revenge. The company of twelve actors and four stage managers will use a completely portable set to stage a Hamlet that celebrates all the exuberance and invention of Shakespeare’s language in a brisk two hours and forty minutes.
Auckland Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Colin McColl says, “With its travelling band of 12 hugely-talented actors, including the extraordinary Rawiri Paratene, this is Shakespeare as Shakespeare intended it. The show is visiting 205 countries – this is theatre history in the making and we are so lucky.”
“The historic Globe is one of those ‘must-visit’ venues for theatre fans travelling to London. Now, thanks to the brilliantly adventurous spirit of Dominic Dromgoole’s company, they will be coming to us – completing the southern-most leg of an epic voyage that has seen them perform in village squares, theatres, palaces and beaches across the world. We look forward to welcoming them to Wellington,” says New Zealand Festival Artistic Director Shelagh Magadza.
Paratene’s relationship with The Globe began in 2007 when he undertook an International Artists’ Fellowship there and was subsequently asked to play Friar Lawrence in the 2009 production of Romeo and Juliet. Since then, he has appeared in The Globe’s productions of Helen, King Lear and in 2012 took our very own The Māori Troilus and Cressida there to open the Globe to Globe Festival.
Tickets for the Auckland season will be exclusive to ATC 2015 season subscribers until 19 January, when they will go on sale to the general public. Please visit www.atc.co.nz or call (09) 309 0390(09) 309 0390.
Tickets for the Wellington season can be purchased from www.ticketek.co.nz or calling 0800 842 5380800 842 538.
Venue: Wellington Opera House
Dates/times: Mon 1 June (4pm), Tues 2 June (7pm)
Venue: Sky City Theatre
Dates/times: Wed 3 June (7pm), Thurs 4 June (7pm), Fri 5 June (11am and 7pm)
JOHN DOUGALL: CLAUDIUS & POLONIUS
LADI EMERUWA: HAMLET
PHOEBE FILDES: OPHELIA / GERTRUDE / HORATIO / ROSENCRANTZ
MIRANDA FOSTER: GERTRUDE
NAEEM HAYAT: HAMLET
BERUCE KHAN: HORATIO / ROSENCRANTZ / LAERTES / GUILDENSTERN
TOM LAWRENCE: HORATIO/ ROSENCRANTZ/ LAERTES/ GUILDENSTERN / (HAMLET on 4 June)
JENNIFFER LEONG: OPHELIA/ HORATIO / ROSENCRANTZ
RAWIRI PARATENE: CLAUDIUS / POLONIUS
MATTHEW ROMAIN: HORATIO/ ROSENCRANTZ/ LAERTES/ GUILDENSTERN
AMANDA WILKIN: OPHELIA/ GERTRUDE / HORATIO / ROSENCRANTZ
KEITH BARTLETT: CLAUDIUS/ POLONIUS
Slick show feeds hunger for bard
Review by Paul Simei-Barton 04th Jun 2015
Having participated in launching the Globe to Globe project with a remarkable Maori language version of Troilus & Cressida, it is wonderfully appropriate to see Rawiri Paratene bringing it all back home with a multicultural cast breathing fresh life into Shakespeare’s best known work.
Fittingly for a production embarking on an exhaustive world tour, the show revolves around the timeless image of travelling players.
The makeshift set littered with packing crates creates the sense of a theatre troupe coming ashore in a busy shipping port and the ensemble effortlessly take up a variety of instruments for a soundtrack filled with joyfully exuberant renditions of traditional folk songs. [More]
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer
Fast and furious
Review by Laurie Atkinson 04th Jun 2015
This Globe to Globe Hamlet is a remarkable event when you consider the many different stages, auditoria, and empty spaces that this likely Guinness Book of Records touring production has already performed in and will perform in in the near future.
In his 2006 stimulating account of his life with Shakespeare, Will and Me, director Dominic Dromgoole makes clear that he abhors Shakespearean productions that have a consistent style forced upon them by “halfwits” because he sees “no consistent style, no uniformity” in the real world. [More]
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer
Clarity, energy and pleasure in staging the world’s most famous tragedy
Review by John Smythe 03rd Jun 2015
The tragedians of the Globe have come to offer us service and they are most certainly friends to this ground. More especially this is clearly a happy homecoming for our own Rawiri Paratene, who plays either the Ghost of Hamlet’s Father, Claudius and the Player King, or Polonius, the Player Prologue and the Gravedigger.
London’s Shakespeare’s Globe’s ‘Globe to Globe’ tour of Hamlet started in April 2014 (the 23rd being Shakespeare’s 450th birthday) and will end in April 2016. New Zealand is the 104th on their tour of 205 countries. Of the company’s twelve actors, eight perform each show with support from four stage managers.
Their simple canvas-panel set, screening off an upstage centre entrance, suggests an army tent which aligns with Denmark’s being a warlike state (and a prison, and harbouring something rotten within, but that is yet to come). The packing cases that litter the stage are anachronistically modern, although the wooden planks are ageless, and the simple costumes traverse time and place.
A simple sliding curtain will be judiciously employed, not least to allow the actual King and Queen to become their counterparts in The Murder of Gonzago (aka The Mousetrap). The lighting is a general and unchanging wash and the houselights stay up, to echo daylight at the original Globe and its replica.
But first, before their tragedy, a song about their roving from the travelling players about to perform a play that includes travelling players. We are most welcome in their facsimile of Denmark. Then suddenly it starts. We’re on the battlements of Elsinore castle; a simple look downward establishes the height and tells us the Ghost, for all his corporeal presence, is not bound by gravity.
The play proceeds at a cracking pace and is delivered with great clarity. The exposition of time, place and backstory is unadorned although most actors are grounded in their sense of being as they tell the story. Emotion only surfaces when it counts, which is mostly in the second half.
Ladi Emeruwa’s Hamlet is a strong presence with a sharp intellect, much given to analysis and metaphysical conjuring. We can see how lively Wittenberg must be when he’s around, bantering in the quad or caf, or leading a debating team. While he has always run rings around Rosencrantz (Beruce Khan) and Guildenstern (Tom Lawrence) one expects Horatio to be his intellectual, if less voluble, equal. But Jennifer Leong’s Horatio doesn’t register as much more than a mouthpiece for the lines.
As Hamlet’s adversaries, Rawiri Paratene’s Claudius is powerfully in command of his court and country, except when he tries to absolve himself in prayer, and Tom Lawrence establishes a no-nonsense Laertes whose clear purpose will prove lethal, to himself as well as Hamlet.
Gertrude is open to at least two interpretations. Is she drawn to Claudius by lust and even complicit in the late King’s assassination, or is she an innocent cog in the machine of state, obliged to maintain her role in the interests of national security? While Miranda Foster’s Queen is clearly in love with the new King, it’s hard to fathom her feelings towards Hamlet. Maybe she’s just too declamatory for any intimacy to show through. Her fear in the closet scene and compassion in reporting Ophelia’s death are well-grounded, however (although I do, as always, wonder why, if Gertrude saw all that, she didn’t take steps to rescue the girl or have her saved).
Phoebe Fildes gives us an intelligent and confident Ophelia, more objectively sad than feeling woe, I feel, at Hamlet’s angry antic disposition once he realises he is being spied on and she has set him up. Her mad scene is poignant nevertheless, in its unnervingly dispassionate precision.
John Dougall’s Polonius is efficient and in his own little world, which hits the marks and gets the laughs as required. But – although I realise it is not the Globe style to over-endow characters and relationships with psychological complexity or emotional baggage – I do look for evidence of a strong relationship between Polonius and his children, Ophelia and Laertes, because his untimely death has to drive her to madness and him to murder. And it’s not discernible here.
Dougall’s Gravedigger derives his comedy from simple pragmatism, to good effect, while Foster, as the second gravedigger, plays up the clown role more. Having turned in a workmanlike Marcellus and functional Rosencrantz, Khan finds a sophisticated contrast in Osric before staking a strong claim as Fortinbras.
There are many delightful touches in this Dominic Dromgoole and Bill Buckhurst directed production, not least in the additions to the ‘Hamlet’s advice to the Players’ scene, where a reference to our beer gets a cheer. And the dance of the dead at the end restores us to reality in the time-honoured way.
Overall the clarity, energy and pleasure this company brings to staging the world’s most famous tragedy, throughout the world, is a joy to behold.
(And now I must dash to the Globe on Screen Titus Andronicus.)
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer