Deyan Lilich & Viktoriya Stephanovska
30 September 2010 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews The flip side of “lost in adaptation” is “found in translation”. Macedonian is not a familiar language for most UK citizens and Dejan Projkovski’s production of Hamlet?i> brought from the NI Drama Theatre in Skopje to Colchester forces an English-speaking audience to concentrate on the prose and visual gloss washed over the tragedy rather than on the verse.
It begins with four naked figures akin to those in a medieval Doom fresco crouched at stage level. Above them is a two-tiered scaffold. In the forefront is a sand-heap. As the main players reveal themselves, they are dressed in blacks and greys with Claudius’ court very much a boardroom affair. The physical nature of this staging allows for whole speeches as well as phrases to be out of context or repeated.
The performers are very good, with
Deyan Lilich a moving as well as deeply troubled Hamlet. There’s a wicked (in many sense of the word) portrait of Polonius by Dragan Spasov and a brutally sensual one of Claudius from Branko Gjorcev. That brace of placemen, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are brought to more prominence than they are sometimes afforded by Igor Angelov and Nikola Acevski.
Katerina Kcevska is a Gertrude warped by her own sexuality as it dissipates into middle-age. There’s – if you know the background of the Millais painting – a poignancy to Viktoriya Stepanovska’s drowning in a bath-tub; she gives a study of a young girl caught between gentle dreaming, social conventions and the physical expression of desires too brutally awakened.
You don’t need to be an expert of the history of the Balkan nations to grasp that there are two revenge tragedies in this production. Avenging the murder of King Hamlet is one, of course. But butting up against it until it sweeps Denmark’s dead court into rubbish skips at the end of the play is that of Fortinbras with a son triumphant over the family which cheated his father.
- by Anne Morley-Priestman Related Content Back to Southeast Homepage
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