Monday, July 5, 2010


Hamlet holds his dagger over Polonius' body during the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company's performance of Hamlet at the Beardsley Theater.

Laertes, right played by Kyle Walker, comforts his sister Ophelia, left played by Amy McFadden, during the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company's performance of Hamlet.

Photographing a play, with the actors performing a great range of emotions and deliberately creating dramatic moments, it seemed like an easy assignment--until I started.  The actors deliberately use all of the space on the stage, filling the stage with their presence, as they project their voices into the audience while they pretend to be having intimate conversations.  If actors in movies and TV stand abnormally close to each other while talking, on stage they stand abnormally far apart.  Only rarely did the actors come close together for a brief intense moment, before dramatically rushing away. 

Hamlet is an amazing story.  Shakespeare found so many great ways to kill his characters in ways that are logical within the story.  There are no predictable gun fights or stereotypical car chase scenes.  The characters end up dead without being idiots, which is the true mark of great writing.  Although the fight scene at the end does allows the actors to have their last words.  I think the play could easily be rewritten to make many of the supporting characters the stars.  Imagine Ophelia, she sees her fairy tale die.  She is in love with the handsome prince, then he goes crazy and dumps her.  But he does not say, "you should find another prince."  He says, "Get thee to a nunnery."  Telling her that he not only does not love her but that she should give up romantic hopes of any kind.
Then her ex-prince charming kills her father; I think I can understand why she commits suicide.
Laertes has it equally bad, the prince kills his father, and drives his sister into suicide.  Hamlet gave Laertes two good reasons to want to kill him.
While Hamlet is a clever fellow, I love the way he sees through his uncle Claudius' plot to have the King of England kill him and instead has the King of England kill Rosencrantz and Guilderstern.

After my previous comments you may think that I'm a blood thirsty maniac, I'm not--I just like action movies a lot.

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