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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare...

"No one knows the exact date of William Shakespeare's birth, but devotees have adopted April 23 as the day to celebrate — and this year, the man from Stratford turns 450. Shakespeare's Globe Theater — a recreation of the theater that hosted most of his plays — is marking the occasion with an of Hamlet, the Bard's most iconic play, which the troupe plans to perform in every country in the world. Shakespeare's Globe Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole tells NPR's Renee Montagne that the tour is a bold, stupid idea.
"And the great thing about bold and stupid ideas," he says, "is that people understand them very swiftly. So when we go out to people around the world and say, very simply, 'We are taking Hamlet to every country in the world,' they immediately get the fun of it and the ambition of it.""

"On what makes Hamlet universally relatable
Hamlet says that time is out of joint. Hamlet is restless, dissatisfied, out of place in his own world. His sensibility is different from the world around him. And he's become an iconic figure for anyone who feels that they are out of place in their own world. You know, in England it still speaks to people who are restless and dissatisfied with the world they're in and hopefully it will speak in the same way to people anywhere.

On thinking of Hamlet as a genius, rather than a tortured soul
Lear is an old dictator; Othello is a Moor in a white man's world. They all have those particular facets. Hamlet is just this sort of crazy genius of language and thought. And you have to play that energy and you have to understand very clearly who Hamlet was before the roof fell in on his head – before his father died and his uncle married his mother. And everything we know about him before that from his friends and his lover, Ophelia, is he was rather brilliant and spirited and beautiful. And so, often in contemporary versions of Hamlet, he's so tortured and angsty and pained that — as well as being profoundly irritated by him for the whole evening because he's just so self-indulgent in his own grief — I think that skews the play away from itself. I don't think the play is meant to be about somebody who is in love with his own pain. "
http://www.npr.org/2014/04/23/305897405/as-shakespeare-turns-450-hamlet-tour-makes-the-world-a-stage