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'Globe to Globe Hamlet' visits Jamaica - Production to benefit Edna Manley students

Published:Tuesday | August 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM
William Shakespeare. - Contributed

 Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer

AS THE world celebrates the 450th anniversary of the birth of playwright William Shakespeare, Jamaica will see some of the stage action.

Tonight, the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) will host a Globe to Globe production of Hamlet, one of Shakespeare's great tragedies. The production is done by Shakespeare's Globe, formerly known as the Globe Theatre in London. In commemoration of Shakespeare's 450th birthday, the Globe decided to embark on a two-year trek, which sees it taking Hamlet to every country in the world.

Scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at the Little Theatre, Tom Redcam Avenue, St Andrew, the production promises to take theatre lovers on an exciting adventure. For two hours and 40 minutes, a cast of eight actors will perform more than two dozen parts of Hamlet, in old English, in order to give off an authentic sense of Shakespearean drama.

The production will serve as a benefit performance, as proceeds from ticket sales will go towards scholarships and grants for EMCVPA students. Tickets are available at the institution for $5,000 each.

Coleen Douglas, marketing and public relations manager, EMCVPA, said when the Globe to Globe team approached the institution with the proposal of hosting the Jamaican leg of the tour, it did not hesitate. Describing the opportunity as an honour, Douglas pointed out that the Little Theatre is the perfect location because of a shared history.

"The School of Drama started out of the Little Theatre Movement (LTM) and so the theatre became the ideal space to use to afford as many Jamaicans as possible the opportunity to enjoy the Globe to Globe Hamlet," Douglas said.

She described the challenges faced by the overseas team in the days leading up to tonight's performance. "Most of the preparations leading up to the event have been immigration procedures for the company, which travels with its set and props," she explained. "We had to make sure that they cleared customs and so on."

Douglas pointed out that students from the institution will be assisting to ensure a smooth flow of tonight's production by doing voluntary work backstage and providing technical support. She went on to thank First Global Bank, Jamaica National, Surrey Pavement, Pan Jamaican Investment Trust and Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) for financial support of the event.

Popularly dubbed Globe to Globe Hamlet, the production, directed by the Globe's artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole, has already been to 37 countries including Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, United States, and countries in Europe.