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London actors bring 'Hamlet' to A&M

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 00:01

COURTESY

Andy Truchinski as Prince Hamlet contemplates his own morality in a scene from Shakespeare's classic.

 

In a classic tale of revenge, betrayal, love and death, “Hamlet” takes audiences to the very core of human nature, asking the vital and famous question, “to be, or not to be?”

Professional actors plucked from the Actors From The London Stage touring company will perform William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in Rudder Theatre on Thursday.

The play, a world-renowned and tragic tale, follows the young and jaded Hamlet, who after his father’s untimely death begins to question his very being and the intentions of those around him. “Hamlet,” written for audiences of the late 16th century, has been staged in both modern and traditional interpretations since the Elizabethan era.

“[The play] is very abstract,” said Peter Ashmore, who plays Hamlet, Bernardo and Fortinbras in the play. “It’s going to be a different experience and story for everyone.”

Thursday’s performance includes five actors, a small collection of props and a different look into the classic tale. Throughout the play, performers must change roles and costumes, highlighting each other’s acting abilities and providing a stronger depth of intrigue within the story. Minimal props will be used during the performance to focus on the talented actors.

“The biggest difference you’ll notice when seeing it is that there are characters on stage that are not visible because the actor that is playing that part is playing another part,” said Andrew Fallaize, the actor portraying Horatio, Laertes, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. “That’s the most striking and different thing about this performance.”

Lee Barker, senior theatre arts major and student representative of the Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts at A&M, said this particular performance of “Hamlet” is one that no student should miss.

“Students need to go see this performance because it’s not very often that we get access to this caliber of Shakespeare,” Barker said. “They are nationally known actors. This is a big thing.”

The performance, filled with role changes that allow for a fast and condensed interpretation, caters to audiences that may have trouble understanding Shakespearean plays because of their poetic speech and unfamiliar vocabulary.

Kirsten Pullen, associate professor and director of AVPA, said the actors from the London Stage make Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”understandable to modern audiences.

“Actors From The London Stage's whole mission is to make Shakespeare accessible,” she said. “Using their bodies and voices and telling an exciting story about families and romance and politics, they make ‘Hamlet’ speak to contemporary university audiences.”

Jessica Knott, AVPA program coordinator, said after attending the performance, students should know a different side to Shakespeare.

“Even if you are not a Shakespeare fan, keep trying, because eventually you are going to find a troupe that is going to speak it to you,” Knott said. “You might find it spoken in a way that gets through to you and see what a cool play it is and why so many people have liked it throughout the years.”

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