Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 286. Monday, 10 May 1993.
Date: Monday, 10 May 1993 00:35:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: _Hamlet_ Interpretation
I just returned from seeing _Hamlet_ at the IRT (Indiana Reportory Theatre),
directed by Libby Appel. This production was very interesting, in that it was
a contemporary interpretation of the play. Set still in Denmark (no changing
of the language of the play), but the set was designed as a big concrete and
iron construct, with two levels. The actors were all in contemporary dress,
Claudius with a purple theme (purple suit-coat, purple bath-robe, etc.), Hamlet
with a very distinct black and white theme, etc. The various night watchman
roles were costumed with Heavy mag-lite flashlights and SWAT-style face
shields. The whole thing seemed to play very well with a combination of the
idea of a royal kingdom, and "Denmark's a prison" idea.
Every other interpretation I've seen of Shakespeare that wasn't a classical
interpretation, I've found just clouds up the story, but this is the first one
where I didn't find myself imagining in my mind classical dress, in fact, I
couldn't have, because I was so caught up in the story/set/costumes/etc. to
even think about that. It just worked great.