Touring Shakespeare productions, a world-premiere opera, a classic film, and a concert along with a resident puppet show highlight the summer festivities at Hamlet's Castle in August at Kronborg Castle, Denmark.
Since 1816 the castle, the real Elsinore of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, has been celebrating its link to Shakespeare's masterpiece, supplementing its ongoing role as a popular tourist attraction. This year the castle is celebrating a double anniversary, marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death and the 200th anniversary of the world's oldest Shakespeare performance tradition at Hamlet's Castle, Kronborg, in Elsinore.
The annual Shakespeare Festival kicks off August 1–7 with the touring production of William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure in a collaborative staging by London's Cheek by Jowl and Moscow's Pushkin Theatre. The performance of this critically acclaimed production will be in Russian with Danish and English subtitles.
Following on its heels will be the Flute Theatre, an offshoot of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing it's 90-minute Hamlet: Who's There? August 8–9 at the castle. In this update of Shakespeare's play, the action takes place during a single night, on the eve of Hamlet's mother's wedding, and all the characters in the drama are a product of Hamlet's consciousness and questionable sanity. By dawn only one gravedigger will be alive. The production will be performed in English with Danish surtitles.
Then comes the Shakespeare Globe's touring production of Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, which will perform August 10–14. The English-language production will use Danish subtitles while in residence at Kronborg.
A restaged production of Giulio Cesare, a show first performed in 1997 inspired by Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, will be performed at the nearby Rudolph Tegner's Museum and Statue Park August 4–6. Giulio Cesare is now presented site specific and often in the context of classical sculptures at museums. For audiences the performances will be an encounter—or confrontation—between two unusual artists, each with their own original language, and with a landscape.
Other presentations of the play for which the castle is so popular will be an August 15 screening of Laurence Olivier's 1948 Oscar-winning film and the world premiere of Hamlet in Absentia, the first-ever Scandinavian opera about Hamlet. Hamlet in Absentia is a grotesque yet humorous reinterpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet, in which madness is seen from the perspective of today's diagnostic society. The cast features eight Scandinavian opera singers accompanied by the Athelas Sinfonietta under the direction of Jakob Hultberg. With Jakob Weis's poetic-cum-rap libretto, the music is by Icelandic composer Hugi Gudmundsson. Running August 16–20, Hamlet in Absentia will be sung in Danish with English and Danish subtitles.
The annual Shakespeare in Concert, with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra and specially invited guest soloists (Frans Rasmussen conducting) performing a variety of pieces inspired by Shakespeare, his time, and his work, is scheduled for August 16.
Leading up to the festival will be the puppet show Hamlet Ghost Story, a playful interpretation of Hamlet in collaboration with Rokoko Studios and its award-winning "animotion" technology. This 30-minute digital, wordless puppet show for the whole family will be presented every afternoon in July except Fridays.
HamletScenen at Kronborg Castle is an artistic institution supported by both the Elsinore Municipal Authority and the Ministry of Culture. Situated on Hamlet's Island, the world-famous Renaissance castle is a UNESCO world heritage site. HamletScenen's Hall of Fame contains portraits of numerous Shakespeare stars who have performed at Kronborg, such as Olivier, John Gielgud, Richard Burton, Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh, Simon Russell Beale, David Dencik, Thure Lindhardt, Lars Eidinger, and Jude Law.
For more information on the castle, visit www.kronborg.dk or call +45 4921 3078.
June 16, 2016