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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: May ::
Review *Hamlet Improvised*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 287.  Monday, 10 May 1993.
 
From:           Blair Kelly III <
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Date:           Monday, 10 May 93 21:18:20 EDT
Subject:        [Review *Hamlet Improvised*]
 
Review: Hamlet Improvised by the Washington Improv Theatre
 
For anyone who will be in Washington, D.C., during the rest of the month
of May, I highly recommend the production of "Hamlet Improvised" by the
Washington Improv Theatre.  The seven players are extremely talented at
improvisation.  Perhaps it will not shed any light on those great
questions of the play Hamlet, but you will laugh lots!  (Although I
perhaps did get a better sense of Elizabethan word-play by watching
modern-day word play.)  The performers are assigned their characters by
a draw from a hat (sex-blind casting!), and they ask the audience for
suggestions on how to play their character by asking a question like:
"Please name a famous person?".  Throughout the performance they
stopped and asked the audience for ideas such as "Please name a common
household object?" or "Please name a literary genre?".  Then they would
weave the audience's answers into their performance.  The night I saw
them, Gertrude was played by someone who thought he was Oliver North,
Laertes was acted by Mickey Mouse, and Hamlet Senior was killed by an
Elvis impersonator!
 
The program notes say that the performance is adapted from
William Shakespeare's "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" by Kevin Carr and
Alan Marriot, of Marginal Bard Productions, London.  Does anyone
know anything about them?
 

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