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Welcome

Welcome to Issue 4 of Shakespeare Magazine

The whole point of this magazine is that William Shakespeare belongs to the world. London, however, will always feel like a city with a special claim to ownership of the Bard.

He wasn’t born there, of course – take a bow, Stratford-upon-Avon. But it’s in England’s capital city that he first made his name as a bloke who could “bombast out a blank verse”, to quote Robert Greene’s infamous literary put-down. Four centuries later, London is the world’s favourite mega-city and Shakespeare is the world’s favourite mega-poet. “How could it possibly be otherwise?” you’ll doubtless be thinking. If you’ve ever lived in London, that is. And so, this issue we’re celebrating Shakespeare and London. Our cover, you’ll have noticed, features three present-day Shakespeare stars who’ve been known to set the city alight. Tom Hiddleston (who played Coriolanus earlier this year), Benedict Cumberbatch (whose Hamlet is next year’s hottest ticket) and Martin Freeman (whose Richard III was the sensation of the summer). Enjoy your magazine.

Photo: David Hammonds

Pat Reid, Founder & Editor

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At last! A magazine with all the Will in the world

SHAKESPEARE Issue 4

Tom Hiddleston

Benedict Cumberbatch

Martin Freeman

on d n g n i l Lo l Ca Coriolanus

Hamlet

Richard III

Why the city that made Shakespeare still rocks the world

Contents London Calling

England’s capital is in the throes of a Shakespeare Revolution. We report from the frontline.

In the mood 6 for love 12 Why London’s romantics are swooning over Shakespeare in Love - The Play.

Shakespeare Magazine Issue Four September 2014 Founder & Editor Pat Reid Art Editor Paul McIntyre Staff Writers Brooke Thomas (UK) Mary Finch (US) Writers Zoe Bramley Lauren O’Hara Tom Phillips Lis Starke Emma Wheatley Rose Wynne Chief Photographer Piper Williams Photographers Emma Liu Alison Williams

n o d Why the city that n g o n made Shakespeare i l L l still rocks the world... a C

Illustrator Hannah Finch Thank You Mrs Mary Reid Web design David Hammonds Contact Us shakespearemag@outlook.com Facebook facebook.com/ShakespeareMagazine Twitter @UKShakespeare Website www.shakespearemagazine.com

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“Walk with me The Measure about the town” 18 Principle A pictorial guide to some of London’s most walkable Shakespeare landmarks.

A troupe of London students turn Shakespeare into Bierkeller cabaret.

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Contents

Shakespeare Girl, Beats, Rhymes The Day of 42 the Dauphin 30 Interrupted 36 and Life An audience with Edward Akrout, an actor who really made his mark in The Hollow Crown.

Our resident Shakespearean master Meet The Sonnet Man, a New York of disaster recounts her catalogue rapper who’s bringing Shakespeare of woes. to the people.

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WIN!

One of 5 copies of Shakespeare For Grown Ups – the rather brilliant new guide to all things Shakespeare.

Marin County Go memories 46 East! Celebrating 25 years of outdoor Shakespeare amid beautiful scenery.

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The world-spanning Shakespeare tour that is Globe To Globe Hamlet touches down in Kosova.

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Simply send an email to us at shakespearemag@outlook.com with ‘Grown Ups’ in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your name, address and contact number. Closing date is Friday 10 October. Good luck!

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!Shakespeare in London

Illustrations: Hannah Finch, Photos: Alison Williams

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“Sound drums and trumpets, and to London all!” -R7LEOIWTIEVIJERWEVI¾SGOMRKXS)RKPERH´WGETMXEPEWRIZIVFIJSVI 7S[L]MWE]IEVSPH[VMXIVWYHHIRP]XLI[SVPH´WLSXXIWXXMGOIX# 3YV9/7XEJJ;VMXIVVITSVXWJVSQXLILIEVXSJ7LEOIWTIEVI´W'MX] Words: Brooke Thomas

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Shakespeare in London

“Josie Rourke’s Coriolanus saw Tom Hiddleston (of Avengers fame) playing the title role to rapturous acclaim”

“Hello, is it me you’re Loki for?” Hiddleston’s hard-hitting Coriolanus.

hakespeare productions are selling out in record time, people are queuing around the block for a chance to see lesser-known history plays, and bright young theatre companies are adapting the plays in countless bizarre spaces, using up-to-the-minute theatrical techniques. Yes, we’re in the middle of a Shakespeare revolution, and in the year of his 450th birthday there’s no better place to experience the Bard than London. White-hot young director Jamie Lloyd has certainly been savvy with his casting choices for the Trafalgar Transformed seasons. Last year, James McAvoy, Shameless star and X-Men’s Charles Xavier, starred in Lloyd’s dystopian Macbeth. This year Martin Freeman, star of The Hobbit and Watson in the phenomenally successful BBC drama Sherlock, takes on Richard III – box office

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!Shakespeare in London

meltdown ensued. Controversy raised its head at the beginning of Freeman’s run as Richard of Gloucester, though. His younger fans, drawn to the theatre by the popular actor, have reportedly been clapping and cheering at inappropriate moments, at odds with age-old theatre etiquette. Veteran actress Maureen Lipman apparently sniped at Freeman’s popularity, commenting that “[the production is] not so much Richard III as Richard the rock concert” because of Freeman’s enthusiastic fans. It should be noted that the actors, director, and many other audience members have expressed surprise at these negative reports. Apparently very few people have noticed these rowdy teenage theatre goers at all, let alone been disturbed by them.

The stars are fire

Celebrity casting in major Shakespeare productions has proved a divisive issue in recent years. This latest furore reminds us of 2008, when seventy-something polymath Johnathan Miller famously rubbished David Tennant’s casting as Hamlet. Miller allegedly referred to the actor (an RSC regular since 1996) as “that man from Doctor Who”, expressing concerns that people would go to see the play because “he is a television star.”

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Shakespearean skulduggery: David Tennant as Hamlet.

According to The Telegraph, however, Zoe Wanamaker waded in to applaud Freeman for drawing people into the theatre for what might be their first time, and we’re on her side with this one – the more people that get to experience Shakespeare the better. Back in London, the colourful headline “Bigger than Beyonce!” accompanies Benedict Cumberbatch’s beaming face in this month’s news. According to online ticket marketplace Viagogo there were 200% more searches for Hamlet tickets than for Beyonce and Jay Z’s On The Run tour. Cumberbatch has made his name playing complex, mercurial characters on stage and screen. Combined with his burgeoning popularity, this makes it no surprise that his Hamlet is being lauded as the most in-


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Shakespeare in London Kill list: Martin Freeman’s Richard is a psychopathic military bureaucrat.

demand show of all time. The Sherlock star’s 2015 run of Hamlet at the Barbican has sold out, but as with the Trafalgar Transformed Richard III and other hot tickets of recent years, eminently affordable £10 and £15 tickets may be made available at a later date, thereby encouraging first time theatre goers even further.

Players well bestow’d

“A veteran actress sniped at Freeman’s popularity, referring to the production as Richard the rock concert”

A short stroll from the Barbican, through St Paul’s and across the Millennium Bridge, is Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, where Lipman’s comments about cheering at the correct time would surely be laughed at. This summer’s revival of Lucy Bailey’s Titus Andronicus saw droves of fainters, blood-spattered groundlings and audiences being ordered to “MOVE” by intimidating performers. And the Globe isn’t an eccentric exception to stuffy Victorian-style theatre etiquette. Even if we only look at a fraction of this year’s output, London is bursting with innovative and immersive Shakespeare productions. In Poplar, in London’s East End, an ambitious production of Macbeth by RIFT spans 12 hours and several floors of a decaying tower block. Iris Theatre’s Richard

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!Shakespeare in London Handsome Hamlet: Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play the melancholy Dane.

III took over The Actors’ Church in Covent Garden with battle cries and hymns. Another Titus Andronicus is due to take revenge in a multi-story car park in Peckham. And Phyllida Lloyd is launching Henry IV as part of a trilogy of all-female company productions at the Donmar Warehouse. That same venue housed Josie Rourke’s Coriolanus early this year, with Tom Hiddleston (of Marvel Avengers Loki fame, and master of an even more formidable fanbase than the Sherlock boys) playing the title role to rapturous acclaim. Thrice Ninth’s Henry IV, Part 1 sees Shakespeare meet Shakira, performed over the bones of the Rose Playhouse at its Bankside archaeological site. And to top it all off, the stage adaptation of 1999 romcom Shakespeare in Love has kicked off in the West End to rave reviews. While Stratford-upon-Avon continues to weave its own magic, London is unquestionably the centre of Shakespearean creativity and innovation today. In fact, right now, it feels like the first, last and only place to be for fans of the Bard.

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The sumptuous Shakespeare in Love (of which, more anon...)


!Shakespeare In Love

on d n ng i l Lo l Ca

In the

mood for

love

8LIGPEWWMGJIIPKSSH½PQEFSYX7LEOIWTIEVI 0SRHSRERHXLI)PM^EFIXLERWXEKIMWRS[ELYKIP] EQFMXMSYWXLIEXVIWLS[;IEWOIH)QQESYV VSZMRK7LEOIWTIEVIWYTIVJER[LEXWLIVIGOSRIHXS 7LEOIWTIEVIMR0SZI¯8LI4PE] Words: Emma Wheatley

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Shakespeare In Love

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Photos: Johan Persson

“Tom Bateman and Lucy Briggs-Owen shone as Will and Viola. Their chemistry was fantastic”

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!Shakespeare In Love

;IPSZIXLISVMKMREPJMPQ¯EVI[I KSMRKXSPMOIXLITPE]# “Whenever a well-loved film is adapted for the stage, you can’t help but be a little apprehensive about what they will do with it. Those doubts departed soon after curtain up, and I began to believe that Shakespeare in Love was in safe hands with director Declan Donnellan. The performance I saw was a preview, however, so changes may well happen both before and after the 23 July opening night. In case you have never seen the 1999 Shakespeare in Love movie, the plot sees Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes), suffering from writer’s block, falling in love with his new muse, noblewoman Viola De Lessops (Gwyneth Paltrow). The story is interwoven with the writing and performing of Romeo

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and Juliet. It also deals with how Elizabethan society viewed women in many aspects of life from marriage to careers.

The play’s ravishing Elizabethan visuals are likely to please Shakespeare fans.

&YXLEZIR´XXLIVIFIIRVIGIRX GEWIW[LIVIWXEKITVSHYGXMSRW EVIGSQTPIXIP]HMJJIVIRXJVSQXLI JMPQWXLEXMRWTMVIHXLIQ# “Yes, but Shakespeare in Love – The Play has remained fairly faithful to Tom Stoppard’s original screenplay with some great additional scenes thrown in that add to the story. Interestingly, Christopher Marlowe’s role is expanded from the film and is given the lines of minor characters that have been cut during the transition from screen to stage. This works pretty well at the beginning. However, as the play progresses it starts to look as if Marlowe has just been added in for the sake

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When you’re young and in love: Viola (Lucy BriggsOwen) is Shakespeare’s inspiration for Juliet.

“Lucy Briggs-Owen played Viola with a rather more child-like quality than Gwyneth Paltrow, which suits the role well” SHAKESPEARE magazine

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!Shakespeare In Love

“Despite the addition of Marlowe to the balcony scene, I found myself mouthing along to the lines from Romeo and Juliet� 16

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Shakespeare In Love

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of having him on stage. The recreation of the balcony scene, for instance, which should be romantic and full of passion, becomes a bit farcical with the addition of Marlowe. But I forgave it as, after a couple of lines had passed, I found myself mouthing the speeches along with the actors whenever they recited lines from Romeo and Juliet.” .SWITL*MIRRIWERH+[]RIXL 4EPXVS[[IVIRIEVTIVJIGXMRXLI JMPQ,S[HSXLITPE]´WVSQERXMG PIEHWJEVI# “The cast worked well together and Tom Bateman and Lucy Briggs-Owen shone as Will and Viola. Their chemistry was fantastic for so early on in the run, and as they perform together more I can see it growing further. Bateman in particular was superb as Will, carrying scenes off effortlessly. BriggsOwen played Viola with a rather more childlike quality than Gwyneth Paltrow did in the movie. Viola’s age is never given, but I always assumed she was supposed to be young. During the Shakespearean era women often married at a young age – just look at Juliet – so personally I felt this performance suits it well.” %R]SXLIVTIVJSVQERGIW[I WLSYPHPSSOSYXJSV# “Special mention should go to Colin Ryan, playing Webster. He was such a great character who got many laughs during his scenes as the gore-obsessed youngster.” ;LEX´WXLMW[ILIEVEFSYXXLIQ QEOMRKMXMRXSEQYWMGEP# “Worry not! The music is mostly incidental, for scene transitions and background music for scenes set at parties and within the theatre. The music remains faithful to the Elizabethan era and is performed impeccably by the band. The highlight for me came at the end of the show with the post-performance dance. It was choreographed perfectly and you could easily believe that it was once performed at court.

So is Shakespeare in Love – The 4PE]ELMXSVEQMWW# “All in all, the play was brilliant. To see the Shakespearean rehearsal process on stage intercut with the love story of Will and Viola was fascinating, especially to those that love all things Shakespeare. The set, costumes and music were spot-on, deftly transporting you back to the Tudor age. Whether you love Shakespeare’s works, the original movie – or just a classy bit of entertainment – Shakespeare in Love –The Play is a must-see.”

Will’s world: it’s just a stage he’s going through.

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Shakespeare in Love – The Play at the Noel Coward Theatre, London For more info: http://shakespeareinlove.com

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!Shakespeare Walks

This suitably dramatic statue by the National Theatre (at Waterloo Bridge) depicts Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet confronting his father’s vengeful ghost.

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Shakespeare Walks

“Walk

with me

about the

town...”

If you’ve been following our series of Shakespeare Walks, we think you’ll like this. From our resident Tour Captain and our Chief Photographer, here’s a pictorial guide to help ]SY½RHWSQISJ0SRHSR´W ½RIWX7LEOIWTIEVI landmarks. Words: Zoe Bramley Pictures: Piper Williams

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!Shakespeare Walks

Top and left:The reconstructed Globe which opened in 1997. Shakespeare’s original burned down in 1613 during a performance of his play Henry VIII. Right: Risen from the ashes of the 1666 Great Fire, the ‘new’ St Paul’s Cathedral dominates the view from Bankside.

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“Neither a borrower nor a lender be...” The site of the Bell Tavern. It was from here that Richard Quiney wrote to Shakespeare in 1598 requesting a loan.

The Cockpit at Blackfriars.The Tudor-era cellars below the pub are believed to have been part of Shakespeare’s gatehouse.

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!Shakespeare Walks A peaceful garden is all that remains today of the Blackfriars Playhouse.

Ancient footings from the preGreat Fire church.

Memorial to John Heminge and Henry Condell, compilers of the First Folio, at St Mary Aldermanbury.

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Southwark Cathedral, where Shakespeare’s brother Edmund was buried in 1607. William paid for the ‘great bell’ to be tolled.

A pensive Shakespeare watches over the garden at Leicester Square in the heart of London’s West End.

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!King’s Shakespeare Company

on d n ng i l Lo l Ca

The Measure

Principle

King’s Shakespeare Company is London’s only student theatre company dedicated to the Bard. We witnessed their subterranean cabaret take on Measure for Measure one sweltering night at this summer’s Bristol Shakespeare Festival. Words: Lauren O’Hara Pictures: Emma Liu

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King’s Shakespeare Company

Director Lauren O’Hara (far left) writes: “A show is nothing without its crew. Yes, our Producer and Stage Manager were always this smiley.”

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“Eyebrows were important. Our makeup artist had every GLEVEGXIV´WWTIGM½G eyebrow shape stuck on a wall backstage. Here, Hannah Elsy models her Isabella brows.”

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!King’s Shakespeare Company

“As director, I felt it was important for there to be enough time before each show for everyone to relax.”

“This was one of our favourite warmup games – ‘Fireball!’ It involved lots of concentrating and shouting (and laughing), which made sure that everyone was ready for the performance each night.”

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“The set for the show was very simple. All we had on stage were two chairs and a table, and we made a window and prison bars using gobos.”

“Brows again. Shaped and oversized eyebrows helped to create character and ensured that expressions could be seen by all of the audience.”

“Played by Ria Abbott,The Provost was the most heavily made-up of the characters. She was made to look like an MRLYQERERHVSFSXMG½KYVISJ authority.”

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!King’s Shakespeare Company “The show featured original songs, written and arranged by Henry Keynes Carpenter.”

“Every costume was made up of black, white and red to symbolise corruption, virtue and lust.”

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“Making sure that everyone was warmedup, happy and ready to start the show was the main goal for me every evening.”


Intelligent.

Cultured.

Aspirational.

Alison Williams, 23 – Pennsylvania, USA

Shakespeare Magazine has readers all over the world. They love reading, writing, thinking, talking and sharing. 8LI]PSZIXLIEXVIQYWMG½PQW and healthy living. And they love to experience Shakespeare wherever they go. Shakespeare Magazine is only three issues old. But we already know our readers really are something special.

To advertise in Shakespeare Magazine, contact shakespearemag@outlook.com

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!Interview: Edward Akrout

The

Day of the

Dauphin British-French actor Edward Akrout brought a rare sensitivity to the role of the villainous Dauphin in The Hollow Crown: Henry V. Here, he talks about his cultured upbringing, his passion for Shakespeare, and how acting is like being a musician... Interview by Lis Starke and Rose Wynne

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Interview: Edward Akrout

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“My grandmother can read Shakespeare in perfect English, Molière in perfect French and Goethe in perfect German. She taught me the joy of words” ! SHAKESPEARE magazine

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!Interview: Edward Akrout

f you’ve seen The Hollow Crown: Henry V then you’ll doubtless remember actor Edward Akrout’s portrayal of Louis the Dauphin. Stage versions rarely allow us to see inside the heart of Henry V’s villain, but The Hollow Crown was different. As Louis, Edward conveyed all the scorn and contempt expected of the role, but also embodied the heavy weight of impending battle and the heartbreak of defeat and personal loss. It was a performance that saw the Frenchborn actor winning over Shakespeare fans in England and beyond – one that even made us feel sympathy for the Dauphin’s fate at the Battle of Agincourt. Born in Paris to a British-Franco mother and a Tunisian father, Edward can truly claim to be a man of the world. He lived in several different countries while growing up, studied philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and trained in acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). He graduated in 2008 and four years later, in the Cultural Olympiad year of 2012, he joined the cast of The Hollow Crown. When did you decide to pursue acting as a career? “When I was a child my uncle, who was an artist, made me discover how to grow up without ever stopping playing. He made me discover painting and acting.” How was your experience training at LAMDA? “It was wonderful because I was completely new to London and LAMDA became like

my family. I have made wonderful friends there and we are still very much in touch. It was such an immersive introduction to British culture, history and literature that it made me British by adoption. The training itself transforms you, your body and your mind. You learn a technique that becomes so deeply ingrained in you that you carry it then for the rest of your life.” What was the first exposure you had to Shakespeare? Did you enjoy his work right away or grow to enjoy it over time? “I think my first exposure was Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V. At first, like any boy, I watched it to see the fight scenes, I wanted to become a knight then. But then I felt more goose bumps listening to his pre-battle speech than by the battle itself. It was like nothing I ever experienced before, I was thrilled and moved by language.” What was the first production of Shakespeare you were in? “At LAMDA I was very lucky to play Richard III, directed by Aaron Mullen, one of my dream parts. It was a real rush. It made me an addict. It’s the closest feeling there is to being a musician. You learn the part and then you play it. The language itself tells you what to do.” Did you have any mentors that helped you appreciate and learn about Shakespeare’s language and stories? “Yes, my grandmother. She is a born actress but never pursued a career. She can read Shakespeare in perfect English, Molière in perfect French and Goethe in perfect German. She taught me the joy one can find and share with words.”

“It’s the closest feeling there is to being a musician. You learn the part and then you play it. The language itself tells you what to do.” 32

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Interview: Edward Akrout

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Charles (Lambert Wilson), the troubled French /MRK¾EROIH by his son the Dauphin and Montjoy (Jérémie Covillault, right).

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!Interview: Edward Akrout

Watch this face: Edward has hinted at a big Shakespeare role coming his way in the near future.

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Interview: Edward Akrout

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“Tom Hiddleston is a great actor but also a wonderful company leader. He was very much like Henry V himself.” How did you first hear about The Hollow Crown? Were you asked to audition? “I remember there were a few rounds of auditions and I eventually met Thea Sharrock. I was so happy when I got the news. On the first day we had a reading with the whole cast. I was trying to hide as much as I could but I was just in awe of all the actors sitting at that table. John Hurt, Richard Griffiths, Anton Lesser, Paterson Joseph, Tom Hiddleston, Lambert Wilson. I was a big fan of all them and couldn’t actually believe I was sitting at the same table with them. How was it working with Thea as director and Tom as lead actor? “Thea was wonderful. Very helpful and very passionate about her work. Richard Griffiths was so sweet, he used to call her ‘Mum’ on set. They were very close and worked many times together. Tom is a great actor but also a wonderful company leader. He really fuelled the entire set with his energy, and inspired everyone to give their best. He was very much like Henry V himself.” How did you feel about some of the Dauphin’s great lines being cut from the final version of Henry V? “It’s always a hard decision to make but you can’t keep everything. Thea has a real love for the play, the language and all the characters. I knew straight away that if she cut something it was always for the benefit of the story.” They say history is written by the victors of a war. As a Frenchman, how do you feel about how the French are portrayed by Shakespeare in Henry V? “Originally those parts were very satirical. They are almost supposed to be funny. Thea wanted to show the atrocity of war, and made

all the French parts real. That is also why some lines had to go.” Do you have any humorous stories from the set of The Hollow Crown? “Driving to the set in the back of a Land Rover on a bumpy road with both Stanley Weber and I crashing into each other in our full armour. It doesn’t get any funnier than that.” You had some fantastic costumes for Henry V. Do you have any favourites? How much does the costume influence how you play a character or a scene? “My favourite was the full armour with the sword, of course. I always dreamt to have one as a kid. No acting is required then. You don’t need to gild the lily.” What upcoming projects do you have for our readers to look forward to? “I have two films coming out next year – Sword of Vengeance, where I get to act with my cousin of Orleans (Stanley Weber) again, and also The Devil’s Harvest. Deadly Virtues is coming out this August during the FrightFest in Leicester Square. I also joined the cast of Mr. Selfridge recently, which will air in January.” Is there a dream Shakespeare role you’d like to take on one day? “My dream part is coming in my direction, and I will very soon let you know more...”

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Find Edward on Twitter: @EdwardAkrout More from Lis and Rose: @HollowCrownFans www.hollowcrownfans.com SHAKESPEARE magazine

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!Girl, interrupted

Illustrations: Hannah Finch, Photos: Alison Williams

For our US Staff Writer Mary Finch, writing about Shakespeare is the easy bit. Getting through a Shakespeare performance without being struck by some form of disaster is quite another matter...

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ast your mind back to Issue 2 of Shakespeare Magazine and the epic challenges that befell me while attempting to see David Tennant’s Richard II at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute. The combination of bad weather and the unfamiliarity of Bryn Mawr led to a perfect storm of panic and chaos, coupled with the threat of missing our final exams the next day. Not to mention the (much worse) threat of missing our chance to see Richard II. It all worked out fine in the end, and I certainly hoped such complications would be a rare occurrence in my future Shakespearean adventures. Instead, they seem to have become a defining characteristic. However, my bad luck with Shakespeare goes further back than last winter. The first Shakespeare performance I ever saw, at the age of 14, was Hamlet. On an impulse, my mother and I went to New York City’s free Shakespeare in the Park. Despite most of the language going over my head, and the story being rather confusing, I loved it. The tension when Hamlet started “To be, or not to be” was tangible, the crowd was reverently hushed… and then my mother’s mobile phone rang. Our fellow audience members were kind enough not to chase us from the theatre with pitchforks, but it seems that this unpardonable faux pas has tainted my luck with Shakespeare.

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Girl, interrupted

Bryn Mawr. Or, as we like to call it, ‘Shakespeare Calamity Town’.

Now, seven years later, even though I have adopted the habit of silencing my phone, turning it off and even removing the battery, the Shakespeare gremlins still find ingenious ways to delay or derail almost any production I have the nerve to attend. You think I’m exaggerating? Let’s examine the evidence. Since Richard II last December, of the six Shakespeare productions I have seen, half of them have been tragically interrupted through random bad luck, forces of nature or human error (generally my own). A shockingly high failure rate, I think you’ll agree.

“Our fellow audience members were kind enough not to chase us from the theatre with pitchforks, but it seems that this faux pas has tainted my luck with Shakespeare”

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!Girl, interrupted

hours’ traffic” of the drive back home. This time the dreary landscape matched our mood perfectly. We did go to the rescheduled showing the next weekend, but I got lost on the way and missed the first half-hour. Although I had just enough luck to arrive right at the start of the fight between Aufidius and Coriolanus at Corioli. So to borrow from the Bard, I guess “All’s well that ends well.” Antony & Cleopatra Coriolanus

Our disaster with the public transit of Bryn Mawr should have taught us a lesson, but Alison (my intrepid fellow Shakespeare enthusiast) and I don’t scare easily. So a few months later we again drove two hours, this time to see Donmar Warehouse’s Coriolanus featuring Tom Hiddleston. The countryside, which consists of pleasant Amish farms and wooded hills, was hidden under several feet of snow, but anticipation of the production made the lengthy drive seem inconsequential. As we walked towards the cinema through the charming downtown (panic had obstructed our view last time), the ease of the trip seemed too good to be true. And indeed it was. For as we were about to walk inside, these words stopped us in our Hiddlestonian tracks: “I’m sorry, but we have lost power and have to cancel the screening.” After an hour of desperately waiting, Alison and I got back in the car for the “two-

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If all my other Shakespeare adventures went smoothly, I could easily attribute our misfortune to ‘The Curse of Bryn Mawr’. But when Alison and I then attempted to see the Harrisburg Shakespeare production of Antony & Cleopatra, events took yet another disastrous turn. Alison arrived early, reserving a patch of grass front and centre. I too arrived on time and without complications, but our good fortune did not last the night. The problem this time was not a lack of electricity, but too much of it. As the actors declaimed their


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Girl, interrupted

“The storm also continued to roll in, adding drama to the action by illuminating the sky with lightning and threatening to drown out the actors’ voices with thunder”

Alison (left) and Mary: proving cars and Shakespeare don’t mix.

opening lines, ominous rolls of thunder sounded in the distance. The company continued under the metallic amphitheatre without hesitation – the show must go on! The storm also continued to roll in, adding drama to the action by illuminating the sky with lightning and threatening to drown out the actors’ voices with thunder. Eventually, the rain began lightly and then less lightly. Fifteen minutes into the second act, as Antony lost the battle due to Cleopatra’s retreat, the director called “Hold!” and Alison and I groaned from under our umbrellas. King Lear

While those mishaps were out of my control, sometimes I can only blame myself. This summer, Harrisburg’s independent Midtown Cinema began showing NT Live screenings, starting with The National Theatre’s King Lear. Alison and I were especially joyful as this meant no more trips to Bryn Mawr! While I still didn’t have a car, I found another way to get to the theatre. Once I

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!Girl, interrupted arrived at the theatre, I let Alison know what time to pick me up (she could not join me this time due to work). I enjoyed the first half without concern, until during the intermission I checked the clock and realized that, as a typical student of words rather than numbers, I had told Alison the wrong time to pick me up – about half an hour early. So, just as Cordelia was reunited with her father, I found myself sheepishly sneaking out the door. Of course, for each of these tales of woe I have glorious stories of seeing Shakespeare uninterrupted – 50 percent failure entails 50 percent success, right? In Washington DC, Alison and I sat within the first three rows and the actors nearly spit on us for the entirety of Henry IV, Part 1 (spittle and all it was magnificent!). We made it back to Bryn Mawr to see Rory Kinnear as Hamlet and everything went perfectly. I dragged my entire family to see a screening of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Henry IV, Part 1 and they all stayed awake and enjoyed the entire experience. No, I certainly won’t let my series of Shakespeare fiascos deter me. I have learned to always double check websites to make sure the venue hasn’t lost power, to pack an extra umbrella even if the weather forecast is clear, and to have someone else calculate when the show will be over. And if the Shakespeare curse still manages to strike, at least I will have a few good stories to share. As that great American movie icon Forrest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get”. Some days you drive four hours through snow without any reward. Other days you end up with the best seat in the house. That’s Shakespeare for you.

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The loneliness of the long-distance Shakespeare fan.

“I had told Alison the wrong time to pick me up. So, just as Cordelia was reunited with her father, I found myself sheepishly sneaking out the door”


!Contributors

Brooke Thomas

Our UK Staff Writer is a post-graduate student of Shakespeare in her early twenties. She learnt to love the Bard during her BA at Royal Holloway, University of London, and is currently a researcher at Shakespeare’s Globe. Brooke also writes fiction and hosts a short story competition called #SmallTales on Twitter. Her days off consist of tea, cake, and Doctor Who. You can find her at www.literarygeek.co.uk.

Mary Finch Our US Staff Writer is

in her fourth year studying English at Messiah College in central Pennsylvania. Will first grabbed her attention in secondary school and hasn’t let go since – she reads, recites and watches Shakespeare whenever possible. Besides going on irrational adventures to see performances with her friend Alison, Mary also has a passion for swing dancing, dabbling in calligraphy and tending to her ever-growing window garden of succulents.

Piper Williams Our Chief

Photographer hails from Portland, Oregon, now working out of Surrey. A freelance fashion and portrait photographer, he spends his days time-travelling via historical docudramas, silent films and vintage radio broadcasts. These adventures are a catalyst for his imagery and his wardrobe. His current project, 1928, is a modern take on the Jazz and War age aesthetic. Also in the works is a Steam, Diesel and Cosplay-inspired series of Shakespearean characters.

Meet thy makers... Just some of the contributors to this issue of Shakespeare Magazine

Lis Starke and Rose Wynne

Hannah Finch As a little girl,

jointly run the fan group Hollow Hannah enjoyed taking ballet classes, Crown Fans, which celebrates the playing outdoors, colouring pictures, BBC series, its cast, and all things and planning parties. Today, she is Shakespeare. They are committed still a little girl, standing a proud to bringing Shakespeare into the 5' ¾". Professionally, she is an realm of pop culture. Rose hails event planner, concert dance artist, from Gloucestershire in the United and designer. She enjoys exploring Kingdom and Lis from Chicago in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and the United States. They can be found travelling. She loves Shakespeare as a on Twitter @HollowCrownFans and result of her sister’s infectious passion www.hollowcrownfans.com is their for his works (and insistence that they new website. watch productions together).

Lauren O’Hara

is in her final year of studying English at King’s College London and is President of the King’s Shakespeare Company. This year she has directed an all-male Twelfth Night and a cabaret version of Measure for Measure (for Bristol Shakespeare Festival). She wants to pursue directing as a career and is currently working on two original scripts.

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!Interview: The Sonnet Man

Beats, Rhymes and Life Velvet-voiced New York rapper Devon Glover fronts The Sonnet Man, a Shakespeare show with a fresh and funky new take on the Bard. With plans to tour the US, Canada and UK, Devon laid out his iambic manifesto for us... Interview by Mary Finch How did you first get into Shakespeare? “I became interested in the work of William Shakespeare after I assisted a high school teacher understand Othello. While reading the play aloud, I realised that a lot of his work could be said in rhythm. Also, a few lines in his play rhymed. A friend and I transcribed Shakespeare’s words to hip-hop music in order to give the students a better understanding of what the Bard was saying.”

Besides the rhythm, is there anything else you think Shakespeare’s poetry and plays have in common with modern-day hip-hop and rap? “The usage of poetic language – metaphors, similes, alliteration – are very common in Shakespeare’s poetry, and in hip-hop. He created a lot of words and terms that rappers use today in their works. He also wrote with a lot of emotion – left it all out there.”

How was the show, The Sonnet Man, concieved? “The idea to combine Shakespeare’s words with hip-hop came after meeting playwright Arje Shaw. I compared Shakespeare’s sonnets of 14 lines to a standard hip-hop verse of 16 lines, which also use the same language as his plays. We believed The Sonnet Man would be a cool way to introduce students to Shakespeare.”

Why do you think the show has resonated with so many people, especially the young? “The Sonnet Man bridges the gap with so many categories. It connects fans of hiphop to Shakespeare and vice versa. I believe the beauty of the language speaks for itself. With hip-hop rising rapidly as one of the top genres of music to children, this is sort of like the new version of Schoolhouse Rock.

“My goals are to present Shakespeare in a way people haven’t seen before, to open more people to Shakespeare, and to inspire students to keep writing so they can become the next Shakespeare” 42

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Interview: The Sonnet Man

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In his Sonnet Man persona, Devon Glover channels the spirit of Shakespeare.

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!Interview: The Sonnet Man

Plus, it’s done without editing Shakespeare’s words, which is pleasing to Shakespeareans, and opens them to a world of music some wouldn’t hear in the theatre.” What do you hope to achieve through your performances? “My goals when I perform are to present the work of Shakespeare in a way that people haven’t seen before, to open more people to the words of Shakespeare, to inspire students to keep writing so they can become the next Shakespeare, to tell people of all ages to never give up on their dreams.” How do people react when you perform? “I receive lots of great reactions. People who come to The Sonnet Man show for the first time are always skeptical, but leave with a better understanding of Shakespeare and hip-hop. The audience is always surprised to

Devon hangs out with young fans at New York’s Student Shakespeare Festival.

hear Shakespeare’s words being rapped. The group that is surprised the most are the true Shakespeareans, who know Shakespeare’s words by heart. They actually rap along. “I have been surprised by the popularity of The Sonnet Man. This project was first made to reach out to students. However, Shakespeare is beloved by people of all ages, and it’s never too late to be a student of his work.” Do you have a favourite sonnet? “Ah, I have a few of them. If I had to choose one I would pick Sonnet 130. It contains many elements that I look for in an actual hip-hop song – metaphor, comedy, rhythm and rhyme, imagery, plus it’s written like a parody. With all the jokes in the sonnet, it still has a great meaning – I still love you, even with all of your flaws. In our time we use the word ‘mistress’ in an unappealing way. I believe Shakespeare was more endearing.”

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Interview: The Sonnet Man

“The themes of his works are still relatable to the world today. He’s one of the only writers that resonate with people of all languages and cultures” Devon is an ambassador for both Shakespeare and hip-hop.

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should be seen also, with an activity or two to go along with his work. Also, the evolution of language attributes to why students can’t seem to understand them.” Why do you think studying Shakespeare is still important today for students? “I believe Shakespeare is one of the greatest writers who ever lived, who contributed so much to the way we speak today. To understand his work at a younger age will work wonders for later on in life. Language is the key to success.”

Why do you think Shakespeare has remained so popular for so long, and to such a diverse range of people – from scholars to hiphop artists to stage actors? “The impact of his plays is the reason why they have been reinvented so many times. Even though they were written in different times, the themes of his works are still relatable to the world today. He’s one of the only writers that resonate with people of all languages and cultures. Also, the story of Shakespeare has always been intriguing. Even with all the research, there still feels like there are a few stones unturned.”

Thanks to Devon, these youngsters are fully sonnetsavvy.

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More from www.thesonnetmannyc.com

A lot of people – especially children exposed to Shakespeare through school – think they don’t like Shakespeare or can’t understand him. Why do you think this is? “I believe one of the reasons is the way it’s taught. To introduce students to Shakespeare by handing them a book could be a bit too much at times. When I was introduced to Shakespeare, we just read it. I believe his work SHAKESPEARE magazine

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!Diary: Marin County California’s Marin County is known for musicians, movie stars, hippies and outstanding natural beauty. It also has an open-air Shakespeare festival, one that's celebrating its silver NYFMPIIMRX]TMGEPP]¾EQFS]ERXWX]PI

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Back in 1989, a group of theatre fans in Northern California’s picturesque Marin County set out to revive the local Shakespeare festival. They had the perfect outdoor summer venue in Dominican College’s Forest Meadows Amphitheatre – now they just needed the right team. An enterprising theatrical couple named Robert and Lesley Currier were duly hired. Relocating to Marin County, the Curriers quickly threw themselves into a fundraising campaign. Marin Shakespeare Company’s first production, As You Like It, was unveiled the following summer. Starring San Francisco actress Nancy Carlin as Rosalind, it was a galloping success. “In 1989 gasoline cost around a dollar a gallon, a US postage stamp cost 25 cents and we had never heard of the internet,” says Lesley. “We had a Mac Plus computer, a dot matrix printer and a lot of youthful goodwill and enthusiasm.” Apart from primitive technology, the Company also had nature to contend with. Indeed, their debut production was almost

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scuppered by an earthquake. “Everyone told us we should forget trying to do a show in 1990,” says Robert who, needless to say, ignored the advice. This early adversity instilled an ethos of “the show must go on” that endures to this day in the face of blackouts, smoke and ash from grass fires, bee stings, poison oak and wildly variable weather. Not to mention on-stage cameos by various woodland creatures. The Company’s 25th anniversary celebrations were already underway when, sensationally, they received an anonymous donation of one million dollars. “We are thrilled,” says Lesley, who describes the gift as “transformational”. Some of the money has already been put to good use with the installation of a new microphone system. But the Company still has an agreeably old school approach to its take on Shakespeare. “There have been tremendous technical advances,” Robert says. “Today everything is digital. But we still have to build our stage every year, put up light towers and build the dressing rooms.”


Diary: Marin County

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Two decades later, little Jackson Currier is now the strapping young actor pictured here as Mercutio (left, with Teddy Spencer as Tybalt) in this year’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Jackson also acts as set designer. Photo: Eric Chazankin Robert and Lesley Currier with their young son Jackson at Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, 1990. In 1992, Robert directed The Comedy of Errors, with Jim McKie’s elaborate set design representing the Turkish city of Ephesus.The 4EGM½G7YR reported that the comic escapades had the audience “howling uncontrollably” with laughter.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was WXEKIHJSVXLI'SQTER]´W½JXL season in 1994. It featured members of San Francisco’s renowned Pickle Family Circus, including Diane Wasnak, seen here as Puck.

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!Diary: Marin County Marin County’s majestic Mount Tamalpais, viewed from Forest Meadows Amphitheare, the Company’s outdoor theatre venue. Photo: Eric Chazankin

Along with Marin Shakespeare’s Suraya Keating, Lesley gives weekly Shakespeare classes at the infamous San Quentin State Prison, which is also in Marin County. Apart from giving an annual performance of a Shakespeare play, San Quentin students also write and perform autobiographical pieces inspired by Shakespeare.The picture shows 2012’s Hamlet at San Quentin.

A scene from MSC’s 2001 production of Hamlet. The Company staged one summer TVSHYGXMSRHYVMRKMXW½VWX½ZI years and two for its second ½ZI]IEVW7MRGIMXLEW staged three productions from July to September.

As You Like It, August 2014. Thanks to a million-dollar gift from an anonymous donor, all tickets to the production were ‘Pay As You Like It’ with any amount accepted at the door. Photo: Eric Chazankin

A triumphant King John (Scott Coopwood) and The Bastard (Erik MacRay) in 2012’s production of King John. Photo: Eric Chazankin

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Diary: Marin County A recent pic of Robert and Lesley Currier, along with the guy who started it all, William Shakespeare.

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The Marin Shakespeare Company venue at Forest Meadows Amphitheatre. Built in 1973, it was designed so that when the moon is full it rises directly above the actors.

Photo: Steven Underwood

Robert and Lesley’s psychedelic adaptation of Twelfth Night or All You Need is Love. Opening the Company’s 20th Season, it transported audiences back to the swinging ’60s and the Summer of Love. Photo: Morgan Cowin

Lesley Currier as Audrey with John Furse as Touchstone from Marin Shakespeare’s ½VWXTVSHYGXMSRSJAs You Like It in 1990. Previously Lesley spent three years with the Ukiah Players in California. She also acted at Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Lesley applying make-up backstage in 2003. She stepped into the role of Puck after Diane Wasnak (reprising her criticallyacclaimed 1994 appearance) fell ill. “A few days before our opening, Diane missed a rehearsal due to a stomach ache,” says 0IWPI]±;I[IVIGSRGIVRIHFYX[IXLSYKLXWLI´HFI½RI² However, when Diane had to be admitted to hospital, Lesley realised she would have to play Puck herself. Beyond learning the lines, this physically-demanding role involved working with Diane’s circus dog, Bonzer. ±-[EWXIVVM½IH²0IWPI]VIQIQFIVW±-X[EWETL]WMGEP workout... a great deal of concentration and willpower. I ended up performing in eight shows. Diane returned, much to everyone’s delight. But we had proven the show must go on.” Photo: Kim Taylor

More from www.marinshakespeare.org SHAKESPEARE magazine

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!Hamlet in Kosova

Go East! The Globe are taking Hamlet to every country in the world – including this memorable and WMKRM½GERXWXSTSZIVMRXLIXMR] Balkan state of Kosova. Words: Tom Phillips Photos: Bronwen Sharp We weren’t able to get hold of images from the actual Kosova performance, but these pictures by Bronwen do an excellent job in conveying the production’s verve and excitement.

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T

he performance was due to start at 8pm, but seeing as the man insisting that we all had another glass of raki before we went in was the director of the National Theatre, it didn’t seem to matter that we were amongst the many people still milling around outside the venue ten minutes after the curtain was due to go up. Across the square, kids were jumping through the hiccupping fountains, someone was trying to snap a photo which took in both the statue of a medieval warrior on a horse and the towering steel-and-glass


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Hamlet in Kosova

skyscraper behind while, draped in political colours, a group of men were sitting outside a bar yelling ‘Rambo! Rambo!’ The results of the general election remained undecided. On the steps of the National Theatre in Prishtina, banners announced that The Globe’s touring production of Hamlet was in Kosova as part of its project to visit every country in the world. Tickets were five Euro apiece and the theatre was sold out. Shakespeare’s no stranger in South East Europe. He may not have been thinking of the Balkans when he set Twelfth Night in Illyria, but that was the ancient name of a

Amanda Wilkin as Osric (left) and Naeem Hayat as Hamlet.

nation which – depending on who you talk to – stretched from the Adriatic coast of Albania to parts of Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro and Croatia. And even though his geographical knowledge may well have been dubious at best (that famous sea-coast of Bohemia), the plays themselves continue to exert a fascination across East and South East Europe. In communist times, Macbeth proved singularly popular with renowned Albanian writer Ismail Kadare. Presumably its forensic examination of the mechanics of tyranny offered some hope that Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha’s repressive regime wasn’t wholly

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!Hamlet in Kosova “When Hamlet flings out the question ‘Am I a coward?’ someone shouts back ‘Yes!’ in a distinctly Kosovan accent”

unique and might well, like Macbeth’s, plunge into self-destruction. And it’s still popular now, possibly because, nearly 25 years after the Berlin Wall came down, the political landscape in parts of SE Europe still bears more than a passing resemblance to the cynically despotic regime depicted in the Scottish play. At the other extreme, A Midsummer Night’s Dream also seems to be a favourite – over the last year or so, I’ve narrowly missed productions of it in both Tirana and Dubrovnik – while, in Kosova, recent productions include the endlessly tangled

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Keith Bartlett as Old Hamlet (left) and Jennifer Leong as Ophelia.

Love’s Labour’s Lost, translated and directed by Ben Apolloni.“Yes, the language itself was a bit tricky,” he says, laconically, “but people seemed to enjoy it.” The Globe’s Hamlet has attracted the great and good from both Prishtina’s indigenous elite and the copious ex-pat community. I tip-toe down a row of people to find my seat, muttering ‘Me fal, me fal’, only to discover that the people I’m apologising to are all embassy staff and employees of EULEX, KFOR, OSCE and other mysterious international bodies. My Kosovan friends are six or seven


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Hamlet in Kosova

rows back – a handful of playwrights and directors spread out amongst bureaucrats and diplomats. Early on, when Hamlet himself flings out the question “Am I a coward?” and someone shouts back “Yes!” in a distinctly Kosovan accent, it’s a shame that this turns out to be a set-up. It’s a tough call, producing a version of Hamlet which, despite language difficulties, might be understood by audiences in every country of the world. Director Dominic Dromgoole’s done a good job, and while this is almost certainly the cheeriest version of Hamlet I’ve ever seen, the music, the

Laertes (Tom Lawrence) and Hamlet (Ladi Emeruwa) test each other’s mettle.

ensemble playing, the clothes-peg, DIY feel of the whole production transmits a freshness that clearly goes down well in Kosova. It’s not, perhaps, the deepest investigation of the play’s psychological complexities, but, much in the style of the BBC’s mission statement, it informs, it educates, it entertains. Acting-wise, I can’t name names because there isn’t a programme, but individual performances aren’t really the point – even Hamlet’s. This is a production which thrives on its collective energy, on putting across the passion of the story even if that means glossing over some of the nuances. It’s about

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!Hamlet in Kosova

“While this is the cheeriest version of Hamlet I’ve ever seen, the production transmits a freshness that clearly goes down well in Kosova”

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putting Shakespeare out there and proving that, as a playwright, one of his greatest strengths is that his scripts can survive whatever treatment might be necessary. Presumably, that’s because he wrote them in the rough-and-tumble, the hurly-burly of real-life Renaissance theatre. In Prishtina, the reaction’s intriguingly poised. In the aftermath, we mill around the foyer, drinking glasses of wine. The British Ambassador goes through the glad-handing thing, while the rest of us make the most of proffered things-on-sticks and the generous free bar.

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John Dougall as Claudius.

Two Kosovan theatre directors acknowledge the importance of a British company visiting their partially recognised country, but have questions about what they’ve just seen. What about the tragedy? What about Ophelia? Is this what most contemporary productions of Shakespeare in Britain are like? Perhaps the most interesting suggestion is that, had The Globe not been parachuted in and had instead been given time to work with local directors, writers and actors, it might have been possible to explore connections between Hamlet and traditional Kosovan and Albanian stories. Maybe that’s


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Hamlet in Kosova

something for the future – rather than simply turning up and staging Shakespeare, a more long-term, collaborative approach might yield impressive results. On the night, of course, much of this is relegated to ‘items for future discussion’. Some of us turn in – others choose to ignore Polonius’s unimaginative advice to be sane and mediocre, and instead hit the town. According to reports the following day, the party goes on until four in the morning. Hamlet has been a hit, but with a proviso. Theatre-makers in Kosova really appreciate visiting British companies and the chance to

Ladi Emeruwa (left) alternates the role of Hamlet with Naeem Hayat. Right: Miranda Foster as Gertrude.

see new productions, but that’s only the start of the story. Climbing onto the bus for Montenegro, I get the feeling that, here, in South East Europe, there’s a whole hinterland of Shakespeare-related potential which still has to be properly explored.

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Follow Globe to Globe Hamlet http://globetoglobe.shakespearesglobe.com SHAKESPEARE magazine

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Next issue

We hope you’ve enjoyed Issue Four of Shakespeare Magazine. We’ll be back next month with another shedload of Shakespeare shenanigans, including these...

Which witches?

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Madness, music and Macbeth with Filter Theatre.

Don’t lose your head

Shakespeare and the Tower of London.

American Shakespeare Center

We take a Bard-themed road trip to Staunton,Virginia.

If walls could talk...

Staging Shakespeare in historical spaces.

Shakespeare Magazine 04  

The fourth issue of Shakespeare Magazine celebrates Shakespeare's London (with guest appearances from Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch,...

Shakespeare Magazine 04  

The fourth issue of Shakespeare Magazine celebrates Shakespeare's London (with guest appearances from Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch,...