Tuesday, 16 July 2013

THE PLAY'S THE THING: Shakespeare's Hamlet going global on 205-nation tour

TO BE OR NOT TO BE: Sir Laurence Olivier as the Danish prince in his 1948 film.

All the world's a stage, indeed. The Globe Theatre, based in London, announced Tuesday that it plans to bring a production of Hamlet, arguably William Shakespeare's most universal play, to every country in the world -- some 205 nations and territories. Perhaps less, given UN guidelines. 

Populated by a cast of eight, the small-scale production will tour the world between April 2014 and April 23, 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. "We are aware that it is insanely ambitious," says Globe spokeswoman Emma Draper. Still, the popular theatre company has the backing of the British Council, a government-aided agency. 

Hopefully, Jamaica is among the intended destinations, but so far Denmark (which provides the play's primary setting) and Kenya are the only confirmed territories. 

The Hamlet tour will start and end at the Globe and is a flipside to last year's Globe to Globe festival, which brought together troupes from around the world to London to perform Shakespeare's plays in 37 languages.

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