Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, Auf Wiedersehen!

 

Shakespeare Festival
Aug 1-10; Kronborg Castle, Helsingør; see website for ticket prices; Hamletscenen.dk

The annual celebration of all things Shakespearian returns once again to Hamlet’s very own Kronborg Castle courtyard, where his inspired tales of intrigue, power, forbidden love, revenge and comedy echo around the ramparts.

This year Hamlet is played out by the Staatschauspiel Dresden in a somewhat alternative performance that may annoy the purists, but with its video and rock elements promises to be a memorable experience.

The Hamlet theme continues with Catalan actor and puppeteer Miquel Gallardo’s The Diagnosis delving into the troubled mind of Hamlet in an intense and emotional performance that may change the way you see puppets, let alone Shakespeare.

Also on the bill (really breaking their budget – Shylock would be proud) is an open-air screening of the acclaimed 2004 film The Merchant of Venice. Directed by Michael Radford, it features some all-star British thesps, including Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes, but it is Al Pacino’s Shylock who takes the plaudits.

The festival finishes off with a flourish of fireworks and the traditional rousing ‘Shakespeare in Concert’ session. The operatic tones of Lise Davidsen and Steffen Milling accompany Verdi’s interpratations of Shakespeare backed by the Greve Harmony Orchestra and St Olai Vocal Ensemble. This year ballet dances its way to the castle with Ask la Cour Rasmussen and Susanne Grinder pirouetting to Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet – an 80-minute musical extravaganza to round off the 10-day banquet of the bard.





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