A BUNCH OF CLOWNS ARE PUTTING UP A SHOW OF HAMLET- THEY SOMETIMES MISINTERPRET THE TEXT, SOMETIMES FIND NEW MEANINGS IN IT, SOMETIMES TRY AND UNDERSTAND IT, VERY OFTEN MAKE A MESS OF IT.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I just adored the play. Am at dinner with this crazy assortment of
friends - an Australian lady who runs a restaurant in Hong Kong, her
German (?) chef, a Sri Lankan publicist woman who lives in Shanghai
and an Australian dancer/ Performance Studies PhD guy who I met in
Tokyo and we are all just buzzing - so electrified and energized and
We have unanimously agreed that this is all of our favorite live
performance we've seen in recent memory and, from me personally, I was
so so thrilled to see it.
Your hamlet is a fucking genius, from his opening monologue I was
hooked; like buster keaton meets roberto begnini with the precision of
michael jackson. Unreal. That clown is a character I would watch again
and again - I want to see him in all sorts of environments - it's
Gertrude was spot on - a send up of a style that maintained its
earnestness - no laughing at her character... She felt both fresh and
truly honest - she truly believed but like all great performers she
had a supreme sense of herself on the stage and tempered it so well.
Ophelia was a revelation - having seen her in films before I was just
blown away and her beautiful transformational moment of magic with the
flowers straight broke my heart.
Claudius absolutely rocked - he brought in a completely new and
different influence; a modern pop-culture aesthetic and as my friend
says he played his intelligence down which is the hardest thing for an
actor to do - and he succeeded.
Of course your wonderful MC, the fantastic Laertes, who held the piece
together so assuredly and who's personal investment in the 'other'
play - the life and health of his ragtag company grounded the play in
a place of heart and truth.
And last but certainly not least sweet loving polonius, the youngest
playig the oldest - the striving company member who's voice is shut
out but who's heart is so in the right place... He stayed my horatio
throughout: the one who learns.
And bossman - your work was beautiful. I'm so JEALOUS of your lucky
cast for having the gift of creating this show with you. Their
individual glows attest to the wonderful director that they had and,
whatever that poor jaipur woman thought (though that was a beautiful
moment - when she said she'd never before been to the theatre) "the
other side?" is so what its about. That is the question, man, and you
asked it. You rendered the text more than what is is - you took an
almost fossilized text and breathed life into it so that the words
became immaterial - until you'd choose to throw in a gem and man did
Thank you thank you: delhi arts summit, nsd theatre fest, literary
festival can all go and suck it: this is the best art I've seen in a
long long time.
So much love and respect.
I can't wait to see you soon and talk more about this all and am so
excited to work together now and hopefully in the future.