Friday, March 02, 2007

To See or Not to See

David Duff of Duff and Nonsense will be directing the long awaited performance of Shakespeare's great play Hamlet at the:

Richmond Shakespeare Society
at The Mary Wallace Theatre
The Embankment, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3DU

David writes:

The philosophical and psychological profundities of Hamlet are familiar to those who choose to read the play in their studies, but in theatre it is necessary to concentrate on telling what amounts to a thrilling tale; not so much a "who-dunnit" but more of a "will-he-do-it". In our production we shall aim to drive the story along with great energy and clarity to the slaughter, or if you like, the "collateral damage", that takes place in its bloody conclusion. The metaphysics can take care of themselves!

And very reasonably priced

· Main Shows: £8 (first three performances £7)
· Open Air Show: £12 (concessions £10)
March 2007
Mar 10(Sat), 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 (Sat) at 7.45pmMar 11(Sun) 4.00pmMatinée Mar 17(Sat) at 3pm

Box Office: How to Book

Booking information for each show will be sent to Members together with production details. You can also e-mail us or ring our 24-hour Information Line on 020 8892 2565 for advance news.

Alas, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune make a mere Eight Pounds plus round trip Trans-Atlantic airfare a little pricey. But for those in who live in the fare isles should make this a must see.


David Duff said...

"Agents! Doncha' luv 'em?"

Hank, what a good sport you are; I appreciate the plug - however distant!

Four more rehearsals from Sunday and then we open. It has been a long flog, particularly with me living a two-hour drive from the theatre - my wife has been under-whelmed, needless to say. Still, it has been an enormous excitement and a privilege to have the chance, late in life, to direct this great play.

Not the least of my pleasures has been discovering how *wrong* I had been about the play until I started to dig into the text. The lesson, yet again, is never, but never, take Shakespeare at face value. Like a Russian doll there are layers within layers within layers as you pick your way through his "undiscovered country". But, of course, unlike so many of our modern dramatists, he knows that first and foremost it is necessary to please the ordinary theatre-goer and leave the metaphysics to those who wish to pursue it.

Incidentally, for those of your readers who might be interested in finding out more about Shakespeare, himself, I do recommend two excellent books. "1599: A Year in the Life of Shakespeare" by James Shapiro, a superb book by a very readable American academic; and "Shakespeare: The Biography" by Peter Ackroyd which, I suspect, takes us as close as is possible to this shadowy historical figure of whom it has been said, with great perception, that he was a man about whom we know very little but who seems to know everything about us!

hank_F_M said...


Glad to help.

While reading the plays can be interesting, WS intended them to be performed, and always they come off best on the stage.

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