Globe Theatre starts worldwide 'Hamlet' tour on Shakespeare's 450th birthday

By Daniel S Levine,

Last year, the Globe Theatre announced an ambitious plan to bring Hamlet to every country in the world - over 200 of them - to celebrate William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. Today is Shakespeare’s birthday, marking the start of the tour.

The group said last July, when it announced the plan, that the actors will use every mode of transportation available to reach every country. Artistic director Dominic Dromgoole completely understands why some may consider this a crazy idea.

In an interview with NPR, Dromgoole even called it a “bold and stupid” idea.

“And the great thing about bold and stupid ideas is that people understand them very swiftly,” Dromgoole said. “So when we go out to people around the world and say, very simply, 'We are taking Hamlet to every country in the world,' they immediately get the fun of it and the ambition of it.”

Dromgoole said that they will adapt to whatever environment they have, since they’re not bringing along any huge sets. “We're going to be very free and open. The set is basically the suitcases that the whole thing travels around in, so it spills out of its own suitcases,” he told NPR, later adding, “The idea is that it's infinitely adaptable to wherever we want to put it up.”

According to The Associated Press, Dromgoole said that the tour will start in Amsterdam and will go to the Arctic Circle before Scandinavia. It will continue for two years, ending at the Globe in England on April 23, 2016. That day will mark the exact 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

“Shakespeare wrote these plays to tour,” Dromgoole told the AP. “So these plays weren't written to sit smug and proud in London. They were written to charge around the world.”

You can check out our list of best Shakespeare adaptations here.



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