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Russell Eagling



One of the more unusual things I was asked to do this semester was to direct Hamlet.  The team of students had already been working on the play for several months and I was asked to come in and lend my expertise to the show.  This was a little daunting at first - but the cast all turned out to be very keen and seemed to value everything I said very highly.  This was also very daunting!

They had prepared a script that was a mix between the original Shakespeare and something more understandable for a audience of English learners.  "Neither a borrower, nor a lender be" became "be neither a borrower or a lender"  "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" became "Something is rotten in our country" etc etc.  The number of scenes was also obviously dramatically cut.  In the end the show ran for about 50 minutes.  We followed Sir Larry O's example and completely did away with Fortinbras and a number of other characters.

A week before we previewed a few scenes to a largely bemused audience in the main park in Hankou.  What didn't help was the microphones that everyone had to carry.  Luckily we managed to get round this problem for the show itself.

This kept me very busy. It didn't help, of course, that I was also writing and acting in The Wizard of Oz at the same time.  It all meant that lots of the marking that I was hoping to get out of the way wasn't done very quickly.  But I have learnt my lesson on this.  I should be more careful when giving out assignments and asking for 1,000 word assignments is probably a silly idea!

Below are some pictures from rehearsals and from the time we took it into a park.

ham-ophelia.jpg (23701 bytes)Ham-mother.jpg (18066 bytes)Ham-queenisdead.jpg (22900 bytes)

Ham-reh-fight.jpg (23854 bytes)ham-reh-king.jpg (50001 bytes)Ham-reh-players.jpg (32038 bytes)

Ham-reh-scene.jpg (29594 bytes)Ham-reh-laugh.jpg (38309 bytes)Ham-reh-polon.jpg (47485 bytes)Ham-reh-reh.jpg (35300 bytes)

Ham-reh-publ.jpg (101875 bytes)

Ham-reh-queen.jpg (23888 bytes)Ham-reh-poison.jpg (33151 bytes)Ham-reh-pose.jpg (42165 bytes)

ham-reh-sun.jpg (67432 bytes)

ham[.jpg (31139 bytes)Ham-everyone.jpg (64162 bytes)ham-fight.jpg (18875 bytes)ham-guys.jpg (20035 bytes)Ham-learsdeath.jpg (26228 bytes)


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Launched on December 25th 2003