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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: November ::
The Swiss Experience DVD
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1010  Saturday, 18 November 2006

From: 		Anne Cuneo <
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Date: 		Friday, 17 Nov 2006 23:20:34 +0100
Subject: 	The Swiss Experience to Take Shakespeare Off the Page Now on DVD

I have already mentioned the experience we made in 2005 in the Swiss 
Valley of Joux with people who wanted to popularise Shakespeare (SHK 
17.0832, September 23rd).

I wrote a play in which I tried to imagine who Shakespeare might have 
been, considering him to have been quite a normal person when he was 
alive, living along, like anybody, and doing his job as best he could. I 
supposed he didn't see himself as a genius, but as a craftsman who was 
trying to do the best possible job.

Based on my (very scholarly) research, but claiming poetic license, I 
tried to imagine under what circumstances Shakespeare could have written 
Hamlet.

Having had some personal experience with writing plays that one has to 
correct and change up to the last minute, I re-created a Will 
Shakespeare who goes from the Ur-Hamlet to the 1623 Hamlet, so to speak 
under our very eyes. The actors start with the Ur-Text, and from 
correction to correction, they end up with the final text. We didn't 
take the whole play -- it would have been too long -- we chose key 
scenes. The title of the play is: "Naissance d'Hamlet, une fantaisie" 
(Birth of Hamlet, a fantasy).

A whole region was mobilised around this project, the performances were 
a roaring success, and in the region Shakespeare's popularity has been 
at a peak ever since. As I am not only a writer, but also a 
film-director, I filmed the whole experience, and the finished film was 
shown in cinemas in Switzerland. Its title is: "Operation Shakespeare in 
the Valley of Joux". Now it is being published in two forms.

There is a DVD, which consists of the film itself, relating the whole 
experience (in French with English subtitles), and of a bonus, which 
consists of the play itself.

The DVD can be bought by itself.

And then there is a book (a limited edition), with the text of the play, 
a text I wrote to relate my involvement in the project, photographs by 
an artistic photographer and of course the DVD itself.

Several people were interested in this material, and asked to be 
informed; I promised to do so as soon as it was available. Well, it is.

Both can now be bought at www.cledar.ch > shop, where both are described 
in English.

To have a better idea of the book, you can have a peek at the 
publisher's: www.campiche.ch

I hope those of you who will see the film will like it as the public 
liked it in Switzerland.

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